Cornell University To Host First Fruit Tour For Spanish-Speaking Employees

Cornell University To Host First Fruit Tour For Spanish-Speaking Employees

The Cornell Cooperative Extension, Lake Ontario Fruit Program team will present the first summer fruit tour for Spanish-speaking employees. This tour will be held in Orleans County from 1-5 p.m. on Aug. 1.


At each of the five tour stops, participants will be hosted by a Spanish-speaking employee who is the owner and/or has acquired significant field experience by managing an orchard and/or a nursery operation. The entire cycle of apple production will be discussed during the tour.

Tour Agenda:

Stop 1: 1-1:40 p.m., Kast Farms, 15159 Transit Church Rd., Albion, NY, 14411.  Viliulfo “Vilo” Rosario has more than 29 years of experience and currently co-owns an apple orchard with Kast Farms. He manages a block of Gala, NY2, and NY1 on M.26 rootstock at a planting density of 4-by-12 feet. The entire 9-acre orchard was planted in the fall of 2011. During the 2013 growing season the block experienced a fire blight epidemic and Vilo was forced to take out more than 250 trees. Trees were replanted in 2014. He has accumulated a significant amount of experience with fire blight recognition and disease management. Vilo will be sharing his experience dealing with fire blight pressure while pursuing his dream of becoming a successful apple grower.

Stop 2: 2-2:30 p.m., Lamont Fruit Farm Inc.,“On-Farm Nursery —  Part I,” 13589 Albion Eagle Harbor Rd., Albion, NY, 14411.  At this stop tour-goers will see a nursery planted in May of 2015 with the intention of growing these trees for two years in the nursery. Traditional bench grafts that were grafted with a scion in April will also be presented. Visitors will compare the growth of sleeping eyes from Washington, and check out B.9 liners just days before they are budded. A discussion will be lead on labor, nutrition, and machinery needed to make an on-farm nursery as successful as possible.

Stop 3: 2:45-3:15 p.m., Lamont Fruit Farm Inc., “On-Farm Nursery — Part II,” 2532 Yates Carlton Townline Rd., Albion, NY 14411. Visitors will see the finished product of nursery trees in the second year. Discussions will focus on on branching, training, and trellis systems for nursery trees. Nursery tools and machinery will be on hand. There will be plenty of opportunities to discuss the pros and cons of growing your own trees.

Stop 4: 3:20-3:45 p.m., Perez Farms, 2112 Townline Rd., Waterport, NY 14571. Jose Perez came to New York as an orchard worker in 1994 and rapidly positioned himself as a key and reliable Spanish-speaking employee. Today he oversees 160 acres of fruit production for another apple grower and recently started his own apple high-density plantings in 2013. At this stop you will see a 12-acre planting of Honeycrisp, Gala, and Fuji on B.9 rootstock planted in 2013 and 2014. There will also be two NY2 orchards on M.9T337 rootstock planted in 2014 and 2015. Perez will be sharing his experience with drainage issues, clearing of the new property, deer fence installation, and overall management of the new established orchards.

Stop 5: 4:15-5 p.m., Lamont Fruit Farms Inc., 12703 Stillwater Rd., Waterport, NY 14571. Jose Iniguez came to the U.S. and began working as a picker in Mattawa, WA, and then moved to New York in 1994. Today he is production manager, partner, and a critical component of the innovative production team at this farm. At this stop you will hear: (1) the pros and cons of using reflective groundcover fabrics to improve light within tree fruit, and (2) the implementation of mechanical summer pruning with a very narrow fruiting wall and super spindle trees with eight cultivars.

After the discussion on management of super spindle trees, tour participants will be served food and beverages by Lamont Fruit Farm.

The tour is free for your employees but a pre-registration is required by Thursday, July 30. For registration, contact Kim R. Hazel [email protected], 585-798-4265. For questions, contact Mario Miranda Sazo [email protected], 315-719-1318.