We met as usual at Union Bridge Community Center. Our hostesses decorated with an autumn theme on all tables and provided a wide variety of tastings from soup to dessert.
We had a good turnout and enjoyed socializing before the program and meeting.
Our program was given by Oylers Organic Orchards based in Biglerville, PA. After many family members had succumbed to the effects of pesticide use in the orchard, the decision was made to go organic. Organic approaches to growing fruit for market is very labor intensive as much needs to be done by hand. It also limits the acreage devoted to the effort for that reason. OUr speaker, a daughter of the family, also described how non-organic growers often express hostility toward those who go this route. Organic approaches do not rule out all spraying, but there are rules as to what may be used. Nor are fruit like apples going to look perfect (Like Snow White’s apple), because there are certain pests that are very resistant (codling moth, curculio) and losses are expected. Apples may also be cosmetically less pretty unless they are specific cultivars that are resistant to specific pests, diseases or environmental stresses.
Our horticulture task as to bring samples of berried plants from our gardens to show. A number of people brought nandina, bittersweet, rose hips and deciduous holly.
Here are some pictures of our current officers, except for our corresponding secretary.