Practical Farmers of Iowa offers “Successful Biological Orcharding” workshop with Michael Phillips holistic orchard production workshop

For Release: February 6, 2015

Johnston, IA — Orchards create their own ecosystem, including flora and fauna both beneficial and detrimental. Interacting with this ecosystem to encourage healthy soil and biodiversity is key to high quality fruit. Michael Phillips will discuss how to build a holistic system that keeps trees and berry plantings healthy from the get-go in a day-long workshop Saturday, February 21, from 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. at Crown Point Community Center in Johnston. The workshop is open to the public.

Michael Phillips, who is leading the workshop, has learned that: “All insect pests and fruit tree disease – whether fungal or bacterial – have launching points and particular timing. Healthy trees address these challenges first and foremost from within. Growers utilizing an ongoing investment in soil nutrition and biodiversity set the stage for gentler organic sprays to grow a successful fruit crop. The challenges you face at your locale will become far more manageable as you build a holistic orchard ecosystem.”

Michael Phillips is known across the country for helping people grow healthy fruit. The “community orchard movement” that he helped found at provides a full immersion into the holistic approach to orcharding. His Lost Nation Orchard is part of a medicinal herb farm in northern New Hampshire. Michael’s newest book, The Holistic Orchard: Tree Fruits and Berries the Biological Way, recently received Garden Book of the Year honors from the American Horticultural Society. During the workshop, Michael will focus on holistic management production practices. The workshop will wrap up with important marketing perspective for selling the good fruit.

Lunch will be provided during the workshop. This event is free for members of Practical Farmers of Iowa and $30 for non-members. RSVPs are required to Lauren Zastrow,, (515) 232-5661, by Tuesday, February 17.

The workshop will be located at Crown Point Community Center, 6300 Pioneer Parkway, Johnston, IA. Directions: From Merle Hay Road north of I-35/I-80, turn west on Pioneer Parkway. The Crown Point Community Center is at the end of a long drive on the south side of Pioneer Pkwy.


Founded in 1985, Practical Farmers of Iowa is an open, supportive and diverse organization of farmers and friends of farmers that seeks to strengthen farms and communities through farmer-led investigation and information-sharing. Farmers in our network produce corn, soybeans, beef cattle, hay, fruits and vegetables, and more. For additional information, call (515) 232-5661 or visit


Liz Kolbe | Practical Farmers of Iowa | (515) 232-5661 |