Asheville's Vance Elemetary students help Professor Barkslip water muscadines grapes they donated at the Edible Park.


Barkslip’s University of Diversity

Making a "World of Difference”


Blacksburg, Va

March 5 & 6 2016

This year will be hosted at:

Glade Road Growing farm

2351 Glade Rd, Blacksburg, Va 24060

(540) 808 0672



Cost and registration:

(with lunch provided)

Early bird registration by February 1st:

Full weekend- 150.00

Single day- 85.00

Late bird registration after Feb 1st:

Full weekend- 180.00

Single day- 100.00

For registration contact:



?'s about classes-

or: 828 713 2424


Time of classes:

9:00-5:00 Saturday and Sunday

This year's fruit school will be divided into 4 sections over 2 days with a lunch break provided of homemade soup and bread with short breaks between sessions.

Please arrive at least 15 minutes early to register for your first class and 5 minutes early in subsequent classes as they will start promtly at 9:00



March 5th Saturday 9:00-12:00

Orchard site analysis and species selection- Get off on the left foot with a different aproach to observation, site planning, taking a good look at native and other hardy plants, and how to incorporate all this into an orchard design that will work best for you. This will be the foundational class for the series. Plus Planting, soil, and understory management: Starting from the ground up, we'll cover good soil health as a foundation to create healthy plants and food.

Afternoon 1:00-5:00

Pruning I- "Can you make the cut?"; new plantings to adolescent trees

Mostly hands on pruning of younger trees so bring your pruners! We will cover establishing a young tree from planting to fruit bearing.

Pruning II- mature tree care

Follow up pruning of bearing trees and rejuvenation of mature trees.

Sunday March 6th 9:00- 12:00

Propagation of plants with seed, layer, rooting

More on helping plants do what they want to do- propagate. Learning these skills are a key to affordably starting, growing and experimenting with plants. Heck, even learn to GMO your own plants and breed your needs! Every seed is a new variety that has never existed previously. We will discuss methods pioneered 140 years ago by plant pioneer Luther Burbank to develop new useful varieties of plants quickly and efficiently to better adapt to our sites, needs, and markets.

1:00- 5:00

Grafting and Cloning around

Bench grafting the whip and tongue graft is foundational and from there you can springboard into a vast world. In this class you will build and take home a tree of your own making. The more comfortable you are with this technique ahead of time, the more quickly you will progress through the many advanced techniques in the succeeding class.

Advanced Top work The "vast world" expands quickly, as well as, its advantages for you by learning to graft trees in "situ" (where they are already growing). We will cover bud grafting, as well as some of the more demanding grafts needed for hard to graft species like nuts. You will learn to the many benefits to top working, identify graftable trees growing in the woods or weeds, and choose the appropriate graft.