Stella Otto got her first taste for fruit growing during annual family outings to the U-pick orchards of western Massachusetts. Following receipt of a B.S. in horticulture from Michigan State University, she worked at one of largest tree fruit nurseries in the U.S and a major tart cherry orchard near Traverse City, Michigan, the cherry capitol of the world. She and her husband eventually started their own diversified fruit farm in northern Michigan, to which a wisened, fruit-farming friend chuckled, “They’ll have some “experiences.”“ Indeed, they did, both learning and laughable. Stella has authored two books, the award-winning The Backyard Orchardist:A complete guide to growing fruit trees in the home garden and The Backyard Berry Book: A hands-on guide to growing berries, brambles, and vine fruit in the home garden. She has written freelance articles for numerous magazines, appeared on the Discovery Channel, and been interviewed on National Public Radio and other gardening radio programs. Stella presently cultivates a fruitful family garden and enjoys her horses and cats on a 10-acre homestead in northern Michigan.
Stella Otto is a Benjamin Franklin Award gold and silver medal winning author of The Backyard Orchardist: A complete guide to growing fruit trees in the home garden.
She is also the author of The Backyard Berry Book: A hands-on guide to growing berries, brambles, and vine fruit in the home garden, which was excerpted for a feature article in Country Journal magazine.
Her freelance articles have been featured in numerous magazines including Organic Gardening, Kitchen Garden, New Garden Journal, Traditional Gardening, Acres USA, and Burpee Home Gardener.
Garden columnist for Northern Home magazine and Thumb Print News.
Workshop Presenter/Media appearances
Otto has been interviewed on National Public Radio’s The Cultivated Gardener and Home Grown.
As a repeated guest on Discovery Channel’s Home Matters, she demonstrated aspects of landscaping creatively with fruit.
Stella has been an instructor for local Master Gardener programs, and has presented numerous workshops to garden clubs, urban garden groups, and at local garden centers.
Stella Otto is a professional horticulturist and former orchard and farm market owner/manager with over 35 years experience growing fruit on large and small scale.
As a professional horticultural consultant, Otto has worked as an orchard manager to absentee land owners, acquainting those with no prior fruit growing experience with the skills needed for success in their endeavor.
Stella Otto also offers consultation for individuals who desire to incorporate fruit trees, berries, and vines into their personal edible landscapes.
Otto taught Introductory Horticulture at North Central Michigan College. She designed and taught a classroom lecture and hands-on laboratory course intended to meet transfer requirements to the four year college curriculum level.
Higlights of past writing, presentations, and reviews
Feature article in Grow: An Inspired House/Fine Gardening Special Issue — May 2009
Online articles on Grit enews
Online interviews at Garden.LoveToKnow.com and lifelovebeauty.com
Seminar presentation: Cherryland Electric Cooperative Garden Forum — presentation on “The Ins & Outs of Fruit Gardening: Hot Tips for Bountiful Harvests“
Seminar presentation: “Sweet Success with Backyard Fruit Gardening” at the Traverse area Habitat for Humanity Spring Flower and Garden Show
Otto is available for guest interviews, freelance writing, and consulting assignments. Contact Her ›