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Intro to Integrated Pest Management (IPM) at Clover Valley Farms!

Geared towards backyard and beginning growers of all skill levels, whether you have 1 backyard tree or a small orchard. This class will include overview of issues related to growing healthy fruit trees and controlling pests and diseases throughout the season with emphasis on Integrated Pest Management (IPM) and organic management of fruit trees. Classes will include lots of handouts on specific topics covered including the “annual cycle of orchards”, meeting the culprits (recognizing specific diseases and pests), methods for monitoring and dealing with potential pests or diseases. Lots of discussion and hands-on activities, so bring your questions!

Look for this class again in 2019!
Location: Clover Valley Farms, 6534 Homestead Road, Duluth, MN
Cost: $25 per person/couple
To Register: contact Cindy Hale <cindy@clovervalleyfarms.com>, 218-525-0094

On our farm we use Integrated Pest Management (IPM) with a strong emphasis on only spraying when something is needed. The core idea behind IPM is to understand the life cycles of the plants being managed and the pests and diseases that can impact them. We monitor the phenology of our orchards as well as pests and diseases so we know what is present in our orchards at any given time. That information drives decisions about when or what to spray and more importantly when NOT to spray. We collect and submit our weekly data to the MN Department of Agriculture’s IPM newsletter which you can use to find local information about what conditions are being found around the state.

Our Summer Farm Field Day will follow from 1pm-4pm, so bring snacks & lunch!

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Fruit tree grafting!

Fruit Tree Grafting for Beginners – indoor bench grafting
Save or propagate the old family apple tree by learning how to graft it onto a new root to create a new tree! Course fee includes all supplies (handouts, grafting bands, tools, etc.) and one semi-dwarf rootstock (additional rootstock available for $6 each from instructor, supplies are limited) and a selection of non-patented scions (twigs of desired apple varieties). Each student should bring a sharp, straight bladed knife (some will be provided for use during the class), good fitting leather gloves recommended. Bring your own “scion” wood if you have some. A “scion” is a 1-2 year old twig, the longer the better, cut directly before class. Keep scions moist by putting them in plastic bags with moist paper towels, leaves or moss.

Watch for this class in early 2019!
Location: to be determined
Cost: $15 per person  To Register call: to be determined

Grafting Tools and Process with Images

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Time to put the farm to bed…

We have had 2 light frosts, but no hard freezes and we are week into October, very unusual!

However, there is frost in the forecast and the growing season is coming to a close. Today I downloaded the last of the seasons temperature and wetness data in the orchards and see that we are sitting at 1,288 degrees days (average for us for a season), but only 110 of those “degree days” (measure of heat) have accumulated since August 31st! So if you feel it has been cold and cloudy for weeks, you are correct.

Today we will harvest the last of the outdoor crops and move potted herbs into the greenhouse. Then we begin the process of final mowing, mulching and putting winter protection on all of our apple trees.

Fall is a good time to reflect on the blessings we have been given and to look forward to a winter of spiritual rest (there is never an end to work!). Thanks to everyone who makes local farming possible!