We pick fruit and share it!

Orchard Stewards

Launching the Orchard Stewards Training Program

Please note that registration for this program is now closed. For more information on how you can get involved with Orchard Stewards, email us at info@notfarfromthetree.org.

At Not Far From The Tree we’re all about the fruit. But we also know that delicious fruit requires well-cared for fruit trees!

That’s why we’re excited to launch our Orchard Stewards Training Program to empower a cohort of Torontonians to give our urban orchard some TLC.

Are you a NFFTT volunteer who wants to go from fruit picker to fruit expert? A fruit tree owner who wants to take your tree’s health into your own hands? A young adult looking to gain employable skills for a career in arbory? Then this is the course for you!

Led in partnership with fruit tree care expert Susan Poizner of Orchard People, this course will equip you with specialized skills to care for fruit trees. You’ll participate in an introductory webinar, and attend a four-part, hands on workshops series that will cover all the basics of fruit tree stewardship, including pruning, nutrition, and pest and disease identification and treatment.

Graduates of the course will be invited to a celebration and graduation ceremony at the end of the final workshop session, and will have the opportunity to assist NFFTT staff in pruning fruit trees across Toronto in the spring of 2020. For those applying to the ISA Certified Arborist Exam, we are happy to provide documentation and detailing of responsibilities undertaken during the course.

Course Cost

$100 for adults, and $75 for students with proof of ID. We will not turn away any committed candidates because of inability to pay. Please email lucas@notfarfromthetree.org for more details on scholarship opportunities and payment plans.

2019 Course Calendar

  • Thursday March 21, 8pm – Free Introductory Webinar: A great introduction to fruit tree care, this 1.5 hour webinar covers nine easy tips to grow healthy and productive fruit trees.
  • Sunday March 31st, 2pm – Class 1, Pruning Theory and Pruning Young Trees: This class will provide an in-class introduction to pruning fruit trees, covering different techniques for different trees, seasons, and objectives.
  • Sunday April 14th, 2pm – Class 2: Pruning Older Trees: Building on the previous workshop, this class will continue the discussion on pruning theory, followed by a hands-on pruning session with 4 apple trees in Wychwood Barns Park.
  • Sunday May 19, 2pm – Class 3, Soil and Fertility: This class covers all aspects of soil health and fertility, followed by a hands-on mulching session with nearby trees
  • Sunday June 23, 2pm – Class 4, Pest and Disease: The final class in the series will teach participants how to correctly identify and treat fruit tree diseases and deal with common pests. There will be a short classroom session followed by a fruit tree walk and inspection, where participants will have a chance to put their knowledge into action.

About Susan Poizner

Susan Poizner is a passionate filmmaker, journalist, urban orchardist and fruit tree care educator. She is the creator of the fruit tree care certificate training program at Orchard People, the author of the award-winning fruit tree care book Growing Urban Orchards, and host of the monthly fruit tree care podcast The Urban Forestry Radio Show on RealityRadio101.com.


This program is made possible by: