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[nafex] Online Fruit Course

    I don't much enjoy taking a negative view of what may seem to be a
positive idea, nor do I like to belabor a point once it has been made.
So after the following brief remarks, I shall belabor no more.

1.  About 1% of everything is the idea.  The other 99% is work, for

2.  It might be helpful to query members such as L. Rombaugh or D.
Hemenway, who have done this sort of thing professionally, what it takes
to put together coherent teaching aids on agricultural topics.  My guess
is hours and hours, days and nights.

3.  I would respectfully disagree with anyone who believes the internet
is a better source of in-depth information than a library or bookstore.
The internet is fast and easy, but, in my experience, most websites are
more like a brief outline of a book than the book itself.  Of course
both sources are better than either alone, but, if I had to choose, it
would still be books.  There is almost no one in the U.S. or Canada who
does not have free access to a good public library.  As for the price of
buying a book --- what's it worth to you to plant your trees or whatever
so that they deliver their maximum potential?  Someday we may reach the
point that computers and the internet completely replace the printed
page, but we're not there yet.

4.  Joe Hecksel's anecdote of the grafting strips is an excellent
example of the type of information that makes the Nafex board a valuable
resource.  Specifically, tips that members convey based on the own
experiences. not to mention the occasional advice from real

5.  I know of at least one website, Penn. State Universities' "A
Comprehensive Guide to Small Scale Fruit Production"
<http://ssfruit.cas.psu.edu/> that attempts to provide approximately
what Tom Olenio seems to be looking for.  The site was obviously built
by professors of horticulture and their grad assistants with great
care.  It is pretty good, and has some nice illustrations.  But I would
not really call it comprehensive in the same sense as a good book on
fruit growing.  You just can't put that much detail on a website.  I am
sure there are many other websites built by the ag science departments
of major universities in the U.S. and Canada that deal with fruit

6.  Having said all of this, if there is anyone out there who is
absolutely at his wits end looking for something to do, and wants to put
together information that is already widely and easily available, both
in print and on the net, I don't wish to be the one to discourage you.
Until such a person steps forward, I think we should just continue to
share our advice and experience here on the board.

Best Regards, Don Yellman, Great Falls, VA

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