Urban Gardener turned Holistic Farmer

Walter on tractor

Peter: “I can make a farmer out of Walter. Charles? I’m not so sure.”

What began as a green thumb behind bars has turned into a true calling to repair the land. After a few months away, Walter, the incredible master gardener of Prodigal Sons and Daughters, hopped back on the wagon with an eagerness to learn.

Walter started his holistic orcharding apprenticeship with Peter Tischler – our lead orchardist – in September, and is already talking like a pro. Walter is learning holistic farming practices in order to teach future New Ark urban farmers how to take care of trees – both within the city limits and on our network of farms throughout the state.

You can hear the eagerness in Walter’s voice when he talks about expanding his profession: “Peter’s right. Our job is to prove the holistic model RIGHT, not assume that it can’t be done in New Jersey.” After a daylong class taught by Peter about reading trees, they continued to apply it in Peter’s orchard. Walter continues: “at this time in the season the objective is to grow the soil, yes grow the soil. Their day was spent placing mulch and hay around the tree beds to break down the fungi and make it resistant to harmful bacteria.

Oh, and Peter let Walter ride his beloved tractor—a gesture of true potential.