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NAFEX Annual Meeting 2016
July 28th - 31st
Camp Swatara, Bethel, PA

Thursday July 28th
12:00 Campground open
6:00 Board Meeting at Fellowship Hall
Campfire and Greet and Meet after the Board Meeting

Friday July 29th
9:00- 9:45 - Michael McConkey - “The History of NAFEX”
10:00- 10:45 - Steven Murray
11:00-12:00 - Lee Reich - “Pomona’s Secrets: Cold-Hardy, Delectable, Pest-Free Fruits”
12:30- 1:30 Lunch
2:00- 3:30 Organize Open Sessions for Friday and Saturday
4:00- 5:30 Open Space- Concurrent sessions
6:00- 7:00 Dinner
7:00- Show and Tell
Afterwards- Fire Circle, music

Saturday July 30th
9:00- 9:45 - Kathy Kelly
10:00- 10:45 Bass Samaan - “Grow Figs Anywhere!”
11:00-12:00 - Andy Moore - “The Past, Present, and Future of Growing Pawpaws”
12:30- 1:30 Lunch
2:00- 3:30 Open Space: Concurrent sessions
4:00-5:30 Open Space: Concurrent sessions
6:00- 7:00 Dinner
7:30 Auction
Afterwards-Fire circle, music

Sunday July 31st
Clean up site and leave for field trips
10:00 am Field trip caravan- Rendezvous at the Comfort Inn, 433 Suedberg Road, Pine Grove, PA 17963 for 10:30 departure for tours

Speaker Bio’s

Andrew Moore grew up in Lake Wales, Florida, just south of the pawpaw’s native range. A writer and gardener, he now lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He was the news editor and a feature writer for Pop City, a weekly news e-magazine in Pittsburgh, and his stories have been published in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, The Daily Yonder, and the Biscayne Times. Pawpaw--a 2016 James Beard Foundation Award nominee in the Writing & Literature category--is his first book.

Bass Samaan started collecting figs and other unique fruit trees 15 years ago in the attempt to find the perfect varieties for the Northeast climate. Now raising over 200 varieties of figs, and other fruit trees. Owner of Trees of Joy nursery, of Bethlehem, Pa.

Kathy Kelley PhD is a professor of horticulture marketing and business management at Penn State University. Her expertise in is the marketing of wine, produce and ethnic foods. She has been studying consumer attitudes and behaviors pertaining to horticultural goods and services.

Lee Reich, PhD is an avid farmdener (more than a gardener, less than a farmer) with graduate degrees in soil science and horticulture. He eventually turned from plant and soil research with the USDA and Cornell University to writing, lecturing, and consulting. Besides providing a year ‘round supply of fruits and vegetables, his farmden has an educational mission and is a test site for innovative techniques in soil care, pruning, and food production.

Show and Tell

Please bring an item to share with the group during Friday night’s Show and Tell. This could be anything fruit related; from a homemade tool, interesting fruit, squirrel deterrent device, or anything in between. This will be very informal and just a time for sharing things you’ve discovered on your pomological path.


Please bring an item to contribute to Saturday night's Auction. This is a great way to have fun while raising funds for the treasury. Popular past item’s have included books, jams and preserves, plant material, tools, garden art, squirrel catapults, and more!

Vendor’s Alley

There will be tables set up inside Fellowship Hall for you to vend your wares. There will be time before and after meals to peruse the vendors alley. Edible Landscaping will be coming with a selection of plants and Lee Reich will have his books available for purchase. There is no fee for vending, simply bring any items that you are interested in selling and set them up. You will be responsible for taking payment for items.

Open Space

This years conference will feature Open Space, an exciting, efficient and effective meeting methodology, along with our formal presentations. Here is a brief definition; “Open Space (Technology) is a simple way to run productive meetings, for five to 2000+ people, and a powerful approach to leadership in any kind of organization, in everyday practice and turbulent change.” To find out more about Open Space check out this website.

We have compiled a list of potential topics to be discussed for the afternoon Open Space sessions. Here are some to get your juices flowing. Bring any topic that you are interested in as well. This format allows for a more informal discussion as opposed to the very formal morning presentations. It also allows us to leverage each other's collective knowledge as opposed to just receiving one person's perspective and experience. I would like to reiterate that we are anticipating enough topics will be proposed to run at least 3 concurrent breakout groups during Open Space sessions. This will allow everyone to pick and choose the discussions they want to participate in during each session. These sessions can also be hands on, so bring any props or materials that you would like to show and tell.

  1. Sheep and other grazers in the orchard (this will most likely be combined with Bob Purvis’s “poultry in the orchard” (ed. note Can you start to see how this is going to work?)
  2. Gorilla planting on public land – It’s better to beg forgiveness than ask for persimmon…I mean permission....
  3. To an older guy- what advice did you hear when you were starting out that has stood the test of time and you want to pass on?
  4. Small scale fruit breeding - techniques for trying a lot of varieties in a small space
  5. Farm Made Potting soil - start to finish, with a focus on locally available Non-fossil inputs.
  6. Economy of the lazy - a discussion of cultivars and species which provide the best fruits for the least effort.
  7. Squirrel proofing, if there is such a thing other than a .22 (us city dwellers are sorta stuck).
  8. Grafting across genera i.e. Citrus on Poncira, Apples on Photinia
  9. Wild/feral/urban fruit foraging (ethics i.e. sharing the resource and mapping)
  10. Che in general. Are Che dioecious or monoecious (and how do you spell those?)
  11. Maximizing habitat diversity in an orchard- and by this I mean how best to grow plants, animals, mushrooms, etc in concert.
  12. More importantly: where is nafex going and how are we going to pull together all the generations (newbies and elders) to make the club better than ever?
  13. Irrigation!
  14. Guerrilla grafting- will there be any incompatibility problems grafting a chimpanzee onto an orangutan?
  15. Questions about climate change and fruits...with some areas getting colder/hotter/wetter/floodier, what ideas to care for the trees that are in the ground? How to prepare for loss of trees? Thinking of ways to increase genetic diversity to give trees adaptation advantage
  16. Nutrition and trees...having information on the biggest punches you get in vitamins/nutrients/fats from different types of trees, medicines and other uses
  17. Growing trees underground (ed. Note is that about gorilla planting or maybe roots?)
  18. discussion on favorite books for continuing education, especially if folks attending wrote them.
  19. Possible crosses for fruit trees
  20. economic viability of obscure fruits in general - are there places where markets for these fruits are growing? what's the economic outlook for farming with fruits like persimmon, pawpaw, etc.
  21. The future of jujubes = in my mouth :)
  22. Do I climb the tree to pick the fruit...or do I just shake the @%&* out it?

Food Menu:

As promised the food at the conference will not be industrial cafeteria food, but food made from healthy locally sourced ingredients that support farmers in the community. We worked hard to find a local caterer that would provide such delectable dishes at a reasonable price. Food deadline- July 25th It is necessary to reserve a meal ticket as our caterer will be ordering food from farmers ahead of time. If you have not yet signed up for meals for the conference please do so by July 25th through the registration form found here.

Friday “Picnic” lunch
Assorted sandwiches including a vegetarian option
Fresh garden salad
Local potato chips
Fresh local fruit

Friday Dinner
Shepherd’s Pie
Vegetable Pasta Entrée
Dinner rolls
Fresh garden salad
Mini desserts
Saturday lunch
Lemon chicken salad
California pasta salad
Potato rolls
Mini desserts
Saturday dinner
Chicken carbonara
Coal fired lasagna
Fresh garden salad
Glazed carrots
Bean medley
Sheet cake or/ and mini cupcakes
Sunday lunch
Boxed lunches including sandwich or salad
Potato chips

Lodging update

If you have not yet registered for the meeting you will need to arrange lodging for yourself. The meeting will be held at the beautiful Camp Swatara, nestled in the appalachian mountains. They offer primitive camping and full hook-up RV sites. To make a campsite reservation please call Camp Swatara Family Camp directly at (717)-933-5244. Mention the NAFEX meeting to be placed with other NAFEX campers. We have reserved a limited number of rooms at the nearest hotel, about a ten minute drive. To make a reservation at The Comfort Inn Call (570) 345-8031, or fax (570) 345-2308 or visit their website to make your reservation. The hotel's address is: 433 Suedberg Rd, Pine Grove, PA, 17963. Mention the NAFEX annual meeting to secure the discounted rate of $61/ night. There are two nearby bed and breakfasts - Berry Patch B&B in Lebanon and Stone House B&B in Schuylkill Haven. Double occupancy room rates start at $129 per night. Websites to makes reservations are and


Tours will commence on Sunday July 31st. We will be caravanning to two separate locations. We will meet at the Comfort Inn at 433 Suedberg Rd, Pine Grove, PA, 17963 at 10:00 AM on Sunday morning. We will depart at 10:30 and head to EITHER North Star Orchard OR Kiwi Corners. Due to their proximity to each other and the travel time involved we will not be able to make it to both locations. If you didn’t sign up for the provided bag lunch, please bring your own lunch.

Kiwi Korners Farm Kiwi Korners Farm is one of three hardy kiwi (actinidia arguta aka: kiwi berries) commercial growers in the US, and the only certified organic producer and packer. The 40 acre farm, located outside of Danville in Northumberland County, is where Holly Laubach and Dave Jackson have been growing hardy kiwi for the past 28 years.

North Star Orchard Ike Kerschner specializes in growing unique and heritage varieties of tree fruits and also runs a fruit CSA. Fruit selections at North Star include several hundred varieties of apples and dozens of varieties of peaches, nectarines, plums, pears, and Asian pears. Ike will also share about the self-funded breeding work he is doing to advance the field of organic fruit production in the mid-Atlantic region.

Day Rates

Day visitors will be welcome. Their rate will be 25.00 at the door. 10.00 if they renew or sign up as new members.

Checklist of 10 Essential things to pack for the conference

  • Toothbrush
  • A spirit of generosity with an inquisitive and open mind.
  • Subjects or questions pertaining to fruit you are excited about or think other members would be also.
  • Pictures of your work, orchard, techniques, fruit that we can post on our central bulletin board for participants to peruse during the conference.
  • Samples of fruit you are growing and the stories behind them. Extra produce for our meals. Baked goods for coffee breaks.
  • Promotional material for your nursery, product, or organization related to fruit for the Vendor’s Alley.
  • Something useful, or no longer of use, that someone might find useful as a donation for the auction Saturday night. This, of course, is a fundraiser for the club.
  • Something fun, whimsical, innovative, inspiring to share for Friday night’s show and tell.
  • Homemade cider, mead, wine, musical instruments… for the evening fire circles. Fermented foods for the meals.
  • Mostly, important don’t forget #2 on the checklist, it’s your passport.

If all of us can manage to pack at least 5 of the above items it will be an amazing conference.

You make Nafex what it is,

Your Annual Meeting Organizing team

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