Open House held for Organic Apple Research Project

An Open House for the OrganicA Project was held on a sunny Friday afternoon, August 17, 2007, at the University of Vermont Horticultural Research Center (HRC) in South Burlington, Vermont. The event was open to the public and well attended by nearly 50 participants.

Opening remarks by project coordinator Dr. Lorraine Berkett of the University of Vermont and a definition of ‘organic’ by Nicole Dehne of the Northeast Organic Farming Association were followed by a tour of the organic research orchards. Further presentations by Dr. Berkett and project personnel Dr. M. Elena Garcia from the University of Arkansas, Dr. Renae Moran from the University of Maine, and Dr. Heather Darby and Terence Bradshaw from the University of Vermont covered many of the details of organic apple production. A wealth of information was offered and audience participation was active.

The OrganicA Project is a multi-disciplinary, multi-state research project with the long-term goal to enhance adoption of organic apple production in New England. Research is being conducted in organic orchards at the HRC examining the two major production systems growers would use in changing to new cultivars and to organic production. Horticultural data, soil health, pests, and economic inputs are being examined to determine challenges and opportunities, profitability, and sustainability of these systems. More information of the project and resources for organic apple production can be found at:

Information and handouts were available at the registration booth.

OrganicA Open House attendees learning about organic apple production.

Dr. M. Elena Garcia, University of Arkansas, discussing organic apple horticulture.

An apple pest trap display in the organic orchard.