By James Nakahara
The clocks have just fallen back, and we now find ourselves with more darkness in the evenings, giving all of us that work in horticulture more time to read, ponder, and plan out next years crop plan, which things did well, which did not, and all the minor tweaks and corrections that will surely follow. Amidst the ample hours of our much needed respite from the hot long days of summer, I would encourage us all to do some light reading. Orin Martin who has spent the last 4 decades working at the Chadwick Garden at UCSC has recently completed in concert with his daughter Manjula, their publication, Fruit Trees for Every Garden. Culminating those years of experience into an easily digestible and instructive book for the novice and expert alike.
Orin writes on getting started:
“From the beginning, I encourage you to think of yourself as an orchardist. It doesn’t matter how many trees you have, or how big your yard is; your orchard is your own slice of paradise. And while paradise is a place of contentment, it is not a place of luxury, and certainly not idleness. For there is much work and learnings to be done, daily, out in the orchard, garden, paradise.”
I have had the privilege of apprenticing under Orin in 2013, and have continued to correspond and discuss these daily labors relating to fruit trees, in all regards, from the scientific understanding to the poetic and philosophical significance of planting, growing, and the continued care of fruit bearing trees. As fortunes and the hardworking conference planning committee have it, all of you attending EcoFarm Conference will have the opportunity to glean similar wisdom, ask any and all questions, and expatiate the countless benefits, necessary toils, and primal bliss that awaits all of us whom find meaning and value in having 1, 10, or 100+ fruit trees.
Fruit Trees for Every Garden will be available in the bookshop inside EcoFarm's Exhibitor Marketplace where Orin will also be signing books, time TBA. Orin will also be presenting at EcoFarm's workshop, "Getting Started with Fruit Trees!" on Thursday, January 23rd, from 3:30-5:00pm.
About James Nakahara
James was an apprentice at the Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems at UCSC in 2013. He currently sits on EcoFarm's Board of Directors, Diversity Advisory Group, Planning and Scholarship Committees. He works for Orchard Keepers Inc., a local tree, garden, and landscaping company based out of Santa Cruz where he manages a 700+ fruit tree orchard in Cupertino.
A Praying Mantis on a Hudson Golden Gem, a wonderful mid season apple with unknown parentage. (The varietal was discovered along a fenceline in Hudson County, Oregon and is believed to be at least partially derived from a Golden Delicious apple)
Visit www.eco-farm.org/conference to learn more and register for EcoFarm