We just finished our first year following his spray protocols. We added all the soil amendments recommended, including the mycorrhizal inoculant. (Fedco sells the kit, except maybe for the inoculant.) We are beginning the ramial woodchip applications around the bases (about a foot out) of the trees and also planted things such as comfrey, lavender and other plants around the bases. Too soon for us to tell, but we’re hopeful.
I remember 4 years ago calling a local farm/orchard to inquire about orcharding organically because I’d heard that he was doing that. In fact, he was not anymore and the blowback that fellow expressed to me in that phone conversation was quite bitter. He asked me what I planned to do about a string of diseases he listed. Said he’d started that way and it was impossible to do. So, when we found Michael, I was very happy.
We had disease on one side of the orchard, leaf roller, a tiny bit of Cedar Rust and a couple of other things but, strangely, nothing on the other half of the orchard. Michael states that building the health of the trees leads to more disease resistance.
I’ll report back next season on my results. It’s all a very fascinating experiment. Just trying to do the right thing. And then, of course, the folks here are all so inspiring.