Stella Otto: The Backyard Fruit Gardener

Today's Tip: To pick currants, pick the whole strig (bunch) as a unit. Do not remove the berries from their stems until just before use.

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


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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What’s Wrong with My Fruit Garden? — Book Review

July 7, 2014

Book Review   Title: What’s Wrong with My Fruit Gar­den? Authors: David Dear­dorff and Kathyrn Wadsworth Strong points: Much of the book is pre­sented in chart form. Near the begin­ning of the book, you will find a chart orga­nized by prob­lem type. This pro­vides quick ini­tial sug­ges­tions to help iden­tify the pos­si­ble source of your fruit garden problem. […]

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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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