Did you ever think apple trees would be grown using fish oil and seaweed? Neither did we when we took over the orchard in 2015. Our goal when we first started was to preserve what we could of this iconic orchard in Hollis from the 1970s and keep the trees healthy and fruitful. After our first 2 years of growing apples conventionally, we wanted to try growing our fruit using organic practices without the use of synthetic pesticides or fertilizers. This has proven to be quite the challenge, both mentally and physically, but we’re excited to try what’s more healthy for us, our town, and the environment. It’s been a tough year and we hope you enjoy the fruits of our labor!
Update 2019: Scooter’s Farmis involved in a trial with the help of The Xerces Society, the National Resource and Conservation Society, and the University of New Hampshire to intercrop wildflowers among apples to attract beneficial insects and pollinators. Bee Boxes have been stationed and natural predator habitats have been increased. We’ve integrated some biodiversity by replacing some apples with grapes and peaches.
We use natural insect deterrents like organic kaolin clay, pheromone mating disruptions, beneficial nematodes as predators, and other organic all-natural sprays. Our fertilizer program consists of inputs such as fish oil and seaweed. Weed control is from natural sprays and mechanical methods, which means no herbicides like Roundup, Glyphosate, or 2,4-D are being used. If you look around the orchard, you’ll see two falcon perches and a nesting box -you guessed it, rodent control!
Because of our organic practices somefruit have blemishes, especially around the perimeter, so be very picky!!! Inspect thoroughly and discard any fruit not to your standard onto the orchard ground. There are many high quality fruit toward the middle of the orchard.
***Please note that Scooter’s Farm has grown organically for over 2 years, exclusively with organic methods and inputs, but we cannot yet call our fruit “Organic” or “Certified Organic”. This is our first year in the program and these terms require a 3 year transition period (followed by an inspection for “Certified Organic”). Even though Scooter’s Farm is exempt due to the small size of our farm, we hope to become certified by the USDA in 2020 once eligible.***