Pests, pathogens, and porcupines: thwarting the marauding hordes in an apple orchard

Steve Wood is an apple grower and cider maker in Lebanon, New Hampshire, and he’s been working on the family orchard since he was a child. Dubbed the Godfather of the hard cider industry in the US, he’s one of the New England’s leading voices on Integrated Pest Management—a way of keeping creatures of all kinds from destroying the trees and their fruit while minimizing harm to the ecosystem.

Check out Farnum Hill Orchards for more on the work—and the cider.

Show Notes:

1’01 Godfather of the hard cider industry
2’19 what is Integrated Pest Management
3’53 “the only real crisis in American agiculture is the crisis of knowledge”
4’41 monitoring insects
5’16 why you can leave the green apple aphid alone
6’12 instead of killing the pest, you focus on not killing the predators
7’00 mating disruption as pest control
8’11 new knowledge is continually coming in that blows your mind
8’33 neonicotinoids were once thought to be the new generation of “soft” gentle insecticides
10’05 let’s be honest: it’s mostly about killing
10’56 how to think about “thou shalt not kill” in the context of pest management
12’43 “attract and kill” as an ecological pest control strategy
13’23 one way to think about dealing with invasive species
16’01 working with individual trees to attract and kill insects
16’45 apple growing is really complex
17’43 the nuance of using chemical pesticides
20’35 resistant strains of pests
21’14 fire blight and antibiotics
24’35 the ideals and reality of organic certification
26’49 the many petroleum based inputs in organic agriculture
30’33 what dynamic means
31’39 the problem with having fixed rules for different ecosystems
32’26 the organic market advantage–it wasn’t worth it
32’49 ground cover in the orchard
33’07 are healthier trees more resistant to pests
33’25 a large deep-rooted tree produces better fruit for cider trees
33’53 fire blight, a terrible bacterium
34’40 a healthy tree is attractive to insects
35’06 can’t rely on trees to protect themselves because they can’t
35’17 orchards are a candy shop for pests
35’56 dealing with another pest: porcupines
38’46 climate change and pests
42’09 farnumhillciders.com

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