Stella Otto: The Backyard Fruit Gardener

Today's Tip: Domestic pears should be picked green and ripened off the tree for best quality and storage life.

BackYard Orchardist & BackYard Berry Book covers

Seasoned Advice for Successful Fruit Gardening

Are you wondering when to prune your fruit trees? Are bugs bugging your berry patch? Do you need hands-on advice to create a fruitful berry garden and home orchard? It’s at your finger tips right here - Stella Otto, horticulturist, teacher, and award winning author shares her years of experience and answers your questions while guiding you on the path to many fruitful harvests!

Latest from the Orchardist's Journal


Raspberries Now and Later

August 4, 2014

The sum­mer berry har­vest sea­son is bit­ter­sweet. We love all the fresh, ripe fruit while we have it, but the sea­son is over in no-time. One thing I like about grow­ing rasp­ber­ries; beyond just plain old lik­ing rasp­ber­ries; is they can be a “have your cake and eat it too” sit­u­a­tion. Thanks to pri­mo­cane fruiting […]

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Water, Water Everywhere.…Or Nowhere

July 28, 2014

At the moment, for me, the well has run a bit dry; fig­u­ra­tively that is. This post is a bit behind sched­ule due to a minor case of writer’s block. My apolo­gies. Today I finally real­ized that could serve as inspi­ra­tion; inscrip­tion to write about how fig­u­ra­tive famine or flood might influ­ence the fruit crop. Late […]

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Strawberry Harvest Send-off

July 14, 2014

Sadly, we’ve fin­ished pick­ing straw­ber­ries until next year. As our first real sum­mer fruit, they are always awaited with great antic­i­pa­tion and we go over­board eat­ing them while we can.  With much help from my daugh­ter, the maker of lus­cious sweet con­coc­tions, we wrapped up the har­vested joy with a bang. Straw­berry Mousse Cheese­cake First we enjoyed […]

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The Orchardist, Stella Otto


Stella Otto has a B.S. in Horticulture, fruit production specialization, from Michigan State University. She resides in northern Michigan’s Leelanau county, Cherry Capital of the world. She gardens together with her husband, son, and daughter. Their 2 horses contribute copiously to the compost pile, while their 3 cats handle some pest control patrol.
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