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The Backyard Orchardist

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About the Author

Stella Otto got her first taste for fruit growing during annual family outings to the U-pick orchards of western Massachusetts. Following receipt of a B.S. in horticulture from Michigan State University, she worked at one of largest tree fruit nurseries in the U.S and a major tart cherry orchard near Traverse City, MI, before she and her husband eventually started their own diversified fruit farm in northern Michigan. Stella has authored two books, the award-winning The Backyard Orchardist, and The Backyard Berry Book. She has written freelance articles for numerous magazines, appeared on the Discovery Channel, and been interviewed on NPR and other gardening radio programs. Stella presently cultivates a fruitful family garden and enjoys her horses on a 10-acre homestead in northern Michigan. She can also be found cultivating fruit gardening information on her blog The Backyard Fruit Gardener at


"Stella's approach to the topic is simple, yet detailed enough to help any home orchardist with their most frequent pest challenges."--Dr. Duke Elsner, Michigan State University Extension "Stella's book, The Backyard Orchardist, has been a long-time favorite and has taught me a lot."--Jan Riggenbach, garden writer "The Backyard Orchardist simplifies the complexities of managing home orchard pests and disease. It helps you understand and weigh the choices: from safer, more eco-friendly strategies through the occasionally necessary pesticide options available to the home gardener."--Emily Pochubay, Tree Fruit IPM Educator, Michigan State University Extension "Welcome to the "grow it, eat it" movement. If you're about to dig in, good! The Backyard Orchardist will move you along the way with practical, up-to-date information to energize your journey."--Michael McConkey, Edible Landscaping nursery ..". does a great job of simplifying the complex science of fruit growing to a practical level that a novice home grower can use and enjoy..."--Dr. Nikki Rothwell, Extension Specialist and Coordinator, Northwest Michigan Horticultural Research Center "Over the years I have seen many gardening books on landscaping, shrubs, trees, and ornamentals. There has always been a need for an intelligent, easy to understand, well written book on fruit. Stella Otto's first edition of The Backyard Orchardist set the bar high. This second edition improves on what I feel has long been the best reference on growing fruit trees. Thank you for this wonderfully written book. I recommend it to anyone, from those who are just starting out, to a pro who wants to refresh themselves on the why, when, and where they do what they do."--Bill Ford, 3rd generation fruit grower, owner of Johnson Nursery "For over twenty years, Stella Otto's book, The Backyard Orchardist, has been a staple reference for the home grower and adventurous landscape designer. The newly updated and expanded version of this classic hits perfect stride with the growing interests in uncommon fruits, container gardening, and natural fruit tree care. The new edition will soon be dog-eared and smudged right along with my original copy."--Michael Judd, author of Edible Landscaping with a Permaculture Twist

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