How We Grow
Promoting Healthy Environmental Conditions, Families, Community & Crops
Our Farming Philosophy/ How we grow: At the Apple Holler Family Farm Park, Orchard, and Restaurant, we believe that it is our duty and responsibility to provide your family and ours with the highest quality of healthy, wholesome produce; while also caring for our environment, wildlife and community with responsible pest management solutions. We believe that by using good, responsible farming practices, such as Integrated Pest Management, we are able to produce high-quality fruit, while minimizing economic, health and environmental hazards.
So, what does Integrated Pest Management (IPM) mean and what is it all about?
IPM is a method of pest management used to help farmers anticipate and prevent pest outbreaks so that crop growing can be more environmentally safe and economically sound. It is based on using a wide variety of pest management tactics to produce wholesome apples and other crops, profitably. IPM can involve the use of chemical and biological controls, cultural tactics, and the use of resistant plant varieties. Monitoring pests with insect traps, spore counts and visual observation, provides the information to decide when or if control pest thresholds have been reached and which control option will be most practical. Accurate identification of pests is essential to making proper pest management decisions.
The Apple Holler Family uses a variety of strategies to control fungal and pest populations BEFORE they cause problems.
Utilizing IPM reduces the amount of pesticides used in our orchard because we know that what we do today will affect us, our orchard and our community in the future. By reducing or even eliminating the use of pesticides, we are also providing you and your families with the healthiest produce possible. We live and work at this orchard every day. We do all we can to make it a place that we can be proud of and where you, our customers, are confident you are receiving great tasting, quality produce!
Is IPM the same as “organic”?
While IPM and organic farming have some differences, farmers who utilize IPM use many of the same methods as organic farmers. Both IPM as well as organic farmers use pest management methods such as: pruning, mating disruption, life-cycle disruption and insect traps. In addition, both organic and IPM growers may spray their crops, whereas organic growers spray organic materials, IPM growers use “soft chemicals” which only affect the insects that are damaging the fruit crop.
IPM A year-round commitment and responsibility:
We are actively involved year-round to excel in our execution of IPM. Your health and the quality of the product you purchase is in our consciousness well beyond the fall months.
- Identifying, attracting and protecting beneficial insects and birds – which eat the harmful pests.
- Mating disruption of harmful pests.
- Insect trapping; to estimate the size of the insect population.
- The use of “soft chemicals”; those which are only harmful to the identified harmful pest populations but not harmful to the beneficial insects or other wildlife.
- The sparse spraying of pesticides, ONLY when necessary for the health of the crop.
- Spraying ONLY the affected area of the crop.
- ONLY spraying affected crops when the value of damaged crop would be more than the cost of spraying.
Some of the INTEGRATED PEST MANAGEMENT strategies we use at Apple Holler include:
- Pruning trees to allow for air flow and sunlight to orchard, to minimize conditions for disease outbreaks.
- Scouting for insects and fungus. Effective scouting during growing season will ensure that pests are controlled ONLY when they reach a level so high that they will cause damage to the crop and/or damage or even death to the tree.
- Planting pest/disease resistant plants.
- Diligent record keeping of; rain fall, temperatures, leaf wetness and insect trap counts; to determine and prepare for possible pest or fungal outbreaks.
- Disrupting life cycles of harmful pests; those which will destroy the apple or the tree.
Caring for your family and our family: All seven members of the Flannery Family live, work and play right here on our orchard and farm property. Like all parents, we want our children to live and grow up in the healthiest environment possible. By minimizing the use of chemicals in our orchard and home land, we are ensuring a healthy environment and a happy outdoor experience for your family as well as ours; while preserving our family farm for generations to come.
Thank you for your support!
Dave and Vicki Flannery