Backyard Fruit Growers

The informal association of Backyard Fruit Growers began in 1990 as an exchange of information for amateurs and others in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, who wish to produce excellent fruit for the family, and to respect the backyard environment. Members get together four times a year at seasonal meetings (Winter, Spring Grafting, Summer Orchard Tour, Fall Apple Tasting) to share ideas and fellowship. Members also receive a newsletter, Backyard Fruit Grower, which has a circulation of about 350. If you live within driving distance of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, and if you would like to participate in our seasonal events, subscribe to the seasonal newsletter to receive schedules and directions. To subscribe to the seasonal newsletter, print out and fill in this subscription form, or read through this online copy of the Backyard Fruit Growers brochure, send $15 for 2 years and snailmail to Suzanne Milshaw, BYFG Treasurer, 7323 Bryan St., Apt. 1, Philadelphia, PA 19119.  email:

Please direct all comments and suggestions about this webpage to Bill Dailey (

Last updated 1/7/14

January 18, 2014 - Winter Meeting, Farm and Home Center, Lancaster, PA

The Backyard Fruit Growers (BYFG) of Lancaster County has once again invited the public to attend their Winter Meeting on Saturday, January 18 at the Farm and Home Center, Lancaster. There is an interesting line up of topics and speakers:
10 AM Doors open to the public.
10:30 Dr. Rob Crasweller, Fruit tree specialist from Penn State: FRUIT TREE STRUCTURE AND CARE. Rob will talk about why we train trees, central leader and open center tree training, and the impact of tree structure on growth, health and management.
Noon BRING A BROWN BAG LUNCH. Browse the literature and swap fruit tips.
1:00 Rob Crasweller: APPLE VARIETIES - NEW SELECTIONS OF NOTE. Rob will focus on some of the newer apples, including the disease resistant cultivars.
1:45 Break.
2:00 Breakout Sessions—Please choose ONE of these concurrent talks:
        SMALL FRUITS - Master Gardener Steve Shambeda will cover fruits that grow on a bush - blueberries, brambles, gooseberries, currants, etc.
        HARDY KIWIS - Les Beachy will discuss varieties, pollination, and trellis design for this super-nutritious vine fruit.
        QUINCES AT HOME AND BEYOND - Buddy Ulrich and Arian Hojat introduce this fragrant fruit especially treasured in the Middle East.

The Farm and Home Center is at 1383 Arcadia Road, Lancaster, 17601. A $5 per person contribution is suggested.

WOODBANK 2012 is online!

Members can download a copy of Woodbank 2012 in pdf format by clicking here. You can get the depositor list here.
(password is in your current Newsletter)

October 2013 Newsletter(members will need to use the same username and password as for Woodbank)

Information on Solitary Pollinating Bees 

Information about Fireblight from the Summer 2009 meeting

 Take a virtual tour of Bill Dailey's garden in bloom Spring 2009  (note:this is a large (7 MB) file in Quicktime format. Save it to your computer to see it full screen.)

 Pictures from the Grafting Workshop 2005

Future and Recent Events

Current BYFG Newsletter subscribers and their families are invited to the following events. Please check the website for schedule changes and corrections. See your Newsletter for driving directions and the schedule for each day - Thanks

2014 Dates
Jan 18    Winter Meeting, Farm and Home - Lancaster, PA
Feb 22    Winter Workshops, Landis Valley Museum
March 22    Grafting Workshop, Landis Valley Museum

Past Events:
2013 Dates
January 19          Winter Meeting, Farm Home Center - Lancaster, PA.    
February 23        Winter Workshops, Landis Valley Museum, Lancaster PA. 
March 23            Grafting Workshop, Landis Valley Museum, Lancaster, PA.
April 20             Planning Group Mtg.    Oregon Dairy - Lititz PA.
May 10 -11        Herb Faire Tree Sale   Landis V. Museum - Lancaster PA.
August 24            Summer Tour   Ike and Lisa Kerschner's North Star Orchard in Cochranville, PA
September 21&22      Pawpaw Tours,    Harleysville & Holtwood, PA
October 12 & 13        Harvest Days, Landis Valley Museum - Lancaster PA.
October 26          BYFG Fall Fruit Tastings, White Oak Nursery, Strasburg, PA. The Tasting is for BYFG Newsletter subscribers and their families.
November 16        Planning Group Meeting, Oregon Dairy - Lititz PA.


Woodbank 2012 is a listing of cultivars fruited by members of the BYFGs who offer to swap scionwood with other listed BYFGs during our seasonal get-togethers. Deposit your varieties with Steve Shambeda by 12/1/13 and join the swap. Woodbank 2012 will be free to all depositors who list in 2012. If you are not yet a listed depositor, you may pick up Woodbank copies at seasonal meeting for $5.00 each. Members can also download a copy of Woodbank 2012 in pdf format by clicking here. You can get the depositor list here. You will be prompted for a username and password which you can obtain from your most recent issue of Backyard Fruit Grower newsletter or you can email Chris. The username/password is the same for the newsletter. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader if you don't already have it installed.
Also check out  
Information on Solitary Pollinating Bees
Wild Pollinators of Eastern Apple Orchards and How to Conserve Them. A great booklet from the Cornell IPM Center

Visit Other BYFG Orchards

The following BYFGs invite you to call or write ahead and arrange a visit:

Links to other pages of interest to BYFGs

New Additions to the site: (BYFG'ers can email me suggestions to add to our pages) 

Highly Recommended Sites

Online Catalogs, Sources, etc

Bees, Bees, Bees


Fruit Production Information Links

Gardening Links - Seeds

Miscellaneous Pages of Interest

Orchard Links

Comments or suggestions for including other useful information or links to other web pages can be sent to Bill Dailey