| Conference Info
Thanks to all who contributed to a successful 2013 MOSES Conference!
Information on this page pertains to the 2013 event. Look for details in December about the 2014 MOSES Conference Feb. 27-March 1, 2014-- our 25th anniversary!
2013 MOSES ORGANIC FARMING CONFERENCE
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9. Cultivating Organic Fruits and Markets
Perry-O & David Sliwa, Sliwa Meadow Farm,
Maury Wills, Wills Family Orchard
Rachel Henderson & Anton Ptak, Mary Dirty Face Farm
A panel of experienced orchardists will look at the pros, cons, and considerations that comprise orchard management and marketing. From planning and planting to orchard and customer care, learn about variety selection, orchard establishment and how to find your market niche. You’ll learn to identify the fruit production system and market options that align best with your farm, interests and lifestyle. Plus, you’ll understand the steps you need to take to get started in fruit production.
This course will include roundtable breakouts to discuss: growing, harvesting, handling, and marketing pears; rootstock rundown and plant variety selection; diversified marketing with focus on apples, and/or apple pest management; plus topics based on emerging needs and questions from participants.
Participants should come prepared to share one thing they hope to learn, along with a tip or resource about cultivating organic fruits and markets. The day will include a mix of story sharing and focused discussion, leaving you inspired, informed and with some “fruit for thought” about the plants, production systems, and markets that would work best for your farm.
This seminar is ideal for those managing small- to medium-sized orchards (10 acres or less) and those who want to diversify their farm offerings with fruit.
Perry-O & David Sliwa
Perry-O and David Sliwa homesteaded land in NE Iowa near Decorah, and have been living off the grid and market gardening for over 30 years. Currently they are focusing on bee keeping and growing flowers, raspberries and tree fruits, primarily pears, for market; and taking more time to enjoy seasonal crops, wildcrafting and preserving the harvest.
Maury Wills began working for the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS) in 1996 and is Bureau Chief of the Agricultural Diversification and Market Development Bureau where he manages the Department’s Organic Certification Program, and oversees the Fruit & Vegetable Promotion, and Farm to School Programs. Maury, his wife Mary and their children own and operate Wills Family Orchard, a 60 acre small-scale diversified farm near Adel, Iowa. The orchard business also includes an on-farm retail store and certified organic, licensed food processing kitchen.
Rachel Henderson & Anton Ptak
Rachel Henderson and Anton Ptak began planting a new, mixed-fruit orchard in 2009, focusing on organic management through diversity and disease-resistant varieties. In 2011 they began farmers market and restaurant sales, with plans to move into marketing through a fruit share CSA. To date, they have about 5 acres of apples, pears, cherries, plums, apricots, currants, gooseberries, raspberries, grapes, and a few other experiments.