Fruit growers’ summer tour at orchard

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MOUNT VERNON, Ohio - Maureen and Jim Buchwald of Glen Hill Orchards, Mount Vernon, Ohio, will host the annual Ohio Fruit Growers Society summer tour June 25.

The tour will be of interest to Midwest fruit growers that enjoy touring a modern, progressive orchard and interacting with exhibitors, educators and other industry participants.

The original orchard was started in 1912. Maureen and partner Rich Ridenbaugh began updating the orchard in 1976 and currently market 23 apple varieties.

There are 106 production acres of mainly apples with 10 acres of peaches and some pick-your-own tart cherries. Glen Hill also packs and sells gift boxes through the winter holidays.

Tour facility. In addition to touring the orchard and farm market, participants will observe modern migrant labor housing facilities, 20,000 bushel refrigerated storage and 21,000 bushel controlled atmosphere apple storage.

The orchard wagon tour will feature Maureen and Rich discussing farm operations, cultural practices, variety selection, labor management, packing line operations, marketing and more.

A major management focus utilizes computerized records to track labor productivity and production results to assist in future management decisions.

They will also discuss their commitment to providing a safe and healthy worker environment.

Presentations. Ohio State University’s Celeste Welty will also showcase a codling moth control demonstration project and Dave Gress, general manager of the association will discuss the wholesale apple market.

The final tour stop will address good agricultural practices and good handling practices in the packinghouse.

Shari Plimpton, food safety educator with the Ohio Specialty Crop Food Safety Initiative will address issues such as worker hygiene and health, wash water quality, sanitation, refrigeration and transportation.

Apple industry exhibitors will also be present to help serve the needs of growers and marketers.

Details. Registration for the tour begins at 8 a.m. Member registration fees are $15 per family and $10 per individual. Nonmember fees are $20 per family and $15 per individual.

Orchard tours will begin as soon as the first tour wagon is full. Registrants will be able to purchase morning refreshments and a noontime meal.

There will be a short Ohio Fruit Growers Society meeting after lunch. For those interested in arriving the night before, the society has set aside a block of rooms at a local hotel.

E-mail tour reservations to Colleen McPeek at cmcpeek@bright.net.

For more information call 614-246-8292 or e-mail at growohio@ofbf.org. Driving directions and maps may be found at www.ohiofruit.org.

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