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Flowers, Fruits, and Frass

Local and statewide information on a variety of current topics for home gardeners and market growers.
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Fruit Tree Grafting Workshops offered in Livingston and Woodford Counties

Bill Davison former organic vegetable grower and now Local Food Systems and Small Farms Educator with the University of Illinois Extension will lead grafting workshops at Sunny Lane Farm in Eureka on March 22 and at Spence Farm in Fairbury on March 29. Workshops start at 9am and end at 12:30pm. Each workshop will include a brief farm tour. Teresa Santiago owns Sunny Lane Farm and is an experienced organic fruit grower. She will discuss her experience with growing and direct marketing fruit in Illinois. To learn more go toSunny Lane Farm . Marty, Kris, and Will Travis manage Spence Farm in Fairbury, which is the oldest family farm in Livingston County. Together they grow a wide variety of crops and livestock for local markets. See Spence Farm for more information. After the farm tours, each participant will get to bench graft three trees using a whip and tongue union. There are many benefits to learning how to graft a tree, not the least of which is that a tree you graft yourself costs 1/5 the price of a tree purchased from a nursery. Learning to graft also lets you choose the best rootstock and varieties for your conditions. For this workshop, we will be using modern disease resistant Geneva rootstock developed at Cornell University. See Cummins Nursery for more information on these improved rootstocks. In addition, we will be using scionwood from modern and heirloom disease resistant varieties that will help make your trees easier to manage and more likely to produce marketable fruit over the long-term. We will also discuss Holistic Orchard Management and techniques you can use to improve the overall health, disease and pest resistance of your trees. Bring only your thin-bladed pocket knife and a pair of hand pruners. Leave with three of your own grafted apple trees. Additional rootstock will be available for purchase for $2 per rootstock. Copies of the book The Holistic Orchard: Tree Fruits and Berries the Biological Way will be available for purchase as well.

To register, go to: and look for Fruit Tree Grafting Workshop under the Explore Local Programs Link. For more programming see:

Cost is $10 per person to cover the cost of rootstock, scionwood, and grafting supplies.

Bill Davison

Extension Educator, Local Food Systems and Small Farms

University of Illinois Extension

402 N. Hershey Road

Bloomington, IL


Serving Livingston, McLean and Woodford Counties

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