The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Holistic Orcharding with Michael Phillips

Chelsea Green sent me a review copy of Holistic Orcharding with Michael Phillips to peruse, and I enjoyed the way the video rounded out the information found in the companion book.  Even though I'm more of a reader than a watcher (and thus probably wouldn't have spent $50 on the DVD), I was enthralled to see a holistic apple orchard in action.

GraftingThe video mostly covers the same topics as the book, but you'll almost certainly learn something new.  For example, I discovered that Phillips kill mulches with used sheet rock, providing both weed-supression and the addition of gypsum to the soil.  I also enjoyed seeing how he makes his grafting cuts (pulling the knife toward him for more control), and learning that the sugars binding pelleted lime together provide microorganism food that helps the calcium work into the soil faster than unpelleted lime would.

Wolf River appleThe video was five hours long, and I'll admit that my eyes glazed over in places (notably when Phillips started talking about his organic sprays).  But at other times, I felt like I was in his orchard and almost able to take a bite out of the heirloom varieties Phillips was describing as he plucked them crisp from the tree.  I loved that Phillips was wearing his work clothes and had dirty fingers, and I actually wished we'd gotten to meet his wife as well.  A final positive, the DVD is extremely well indexed, so I'll be able to refer back to information on specific topics quickly in later years when I need a refresher on pest insects, herbal teas, or what have you.

Title menuThe short version is --- if you get a chance to watch this DVD, definitely do so.  And, if you're more of a watcher than a reader, it may well be worth the steep price tag.  In fact, at this instant, the DVD seems to be on sale for $32 on Chelsea Green's website  (although I didn't click through to find out if shipping was extra), so it might be more reasonably priced than I thought.

(And now I really want more apple trees.)

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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I just ordered this DVD, and there is a $7 shipping fee. I'm reading the book right now and am excited to learn that there is a DVD to accompany it. BTW, I loved your Homegrown Humus book!
Comment by Roy Wed Apr 3 14:37:49 2013
Roy --- Thanks for reporting back (and for your kind words on Homegrown Humus!) I was hoping someone would jump through the hoops and figure out if there was shipping so I didn't have to do it. :-)
Comment by anna Wed Apr 3 16:03:55 2013

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