Amma Toronto

Nov 9: Help Needed in the Orchard

Volunteers picking apples and collecting windfall apples from the ground

help us get the orchard cleaned up and ready for 2023

Our orchard has suffered tremendous losses over the past several years due to an infestation of the apple fly maggot. This year, approximately 75% of our apples were affected by the maggots resulting in a significant loss of potential revenue to support Amma’s charities. While our late ripening apples are quite resistant to the apply fly, the apples that ripen from mid-August to late September are almost totally ruined by the apple maggots.

Child placing apple into box in the orchardIn early October, we had the orchard inspected by an organic orchardist. He recommended a two step approach to reduce the damage caused by the apple fly. Step one is to remove all the apples from the trees, and from the ground prior to winter. The fallen apples should be picked up within one week of falling at the latest, however picking them up within days of falling is more effective. This prevents the apple fly larvae emerging from the apple from burrowing into the soil to overwinter. Step two is the application of an organic spray starting in July and continuing as needed until September.

With winter fast approaching, a lot of help is needed over the next two weeks in order to accomplish step one of this process. The fallen apples need to be raked from under the trees, bagged, and then taken to the local dump. Also, there are still many apples remaining on the trees that need to be picked. While we have had some help in the orchard, recently, turnout for this seva has been low. If you are able to give some time towards this effort either on the weekend or during the week please contact Brian or email This is an urgent request for help.

Due to our heavy losses to the apple fly, the orchard revenue will be around $2,000 this year. In addition to this, our donation of apples to food banks and charities have been low as we must go through the apples to make sure they are of good quality. This process is very time consuming and difficult as the orchard requires so much maintenance at this time. For next year, our goal is to raise at least $10,000 from orchard sales for Amma’s charities. This can only be accomplished with your ongoing support! Please come out this Saturday and the next, to help us get the orchard cleaned up and ready for 2023! Sign up HERE to help, or email us at Thank You! ~ Brian Maskwa, Farm Manager

Om Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu

Bushel of red apples in the orchard