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Michael Phillips


 
 
Phillips's orchard philosophy -- learned from keen observation and reflection -- will fall and clobber you like a giant Newtonian apple; then, your walk through the orchard will never be the same.
Tom Burford, Virginia

Book Chronology 

The Apple Grower came to be in 1998, after having met Ben Watson at the NOFA Summer Conference. This gallant editor dared to believe in me; I was naive enough to say yes. Voilà!  Nancy teamed up with me to write about all things herbal next, christened anew as The Herbalist's Way in 2005. An expanded edition of the first book came on the scene that year as well, revised to reflect my growing understanding of orchard ecosystems. Herbs met apples, so to speak, with the publication of The Holistic Orchard in 2011, clearly establishing that health matters for all species. A strong desire to speak for the fungi brought forth Mycorrhizal Planet in 2017. I've been honored throughout to collaborate with a great publishing team at Chelsea Green to make all this possible.

This Writing Life

That just the right words can get across a useful thought draws me like a moth to a flame. I enjoy writing to put it plainly. Yet there’s a discernible rhythm to putting a book together, recovering financially, then clearing the docket to dive in yet again. Keeping things conversational helps me share my passion for growing. Exploring the nuance of understanding motivates any good action plan. You'll see that I refer to myself as a tree guy or even on occasion as a fungal emissary. All in fun yet also telling. I find myself tuning in to deeper sources when the words truly flow. Inspiration is indeed attainable when wise ones speak freely through the human heart.

 

 

What Writers Know 

Making a living matters to a writer as much as anyone. Parity in the publishing world would go a long way towards bringing a fair deal back to those who create the work. This royalty analysis of the cost recovery phase and the equal partners phase makes clear the struggle and points to a more equitable solution.

 

 
 
Michael Phillips does it again! His ability to understand and explain the parts, interactions and emergent properties of orchard systems is unparalleled. 
George Bird, Michigan State University

In The Works

People ask what's next? Ideas become outlines . . . and then comes the plunge. Maybe. The evident need to self-publish has its own financial challenges. Here are working titles of books being shaped in true farmer fashion. Inch by inch, row by row, as Pete Seeger sang to encourage us all onward.

Growing Healthy Plants: Holistic Principles for a Green World
Orchard Consultant’s Guide (completing my apple trilogy)
Herbal Medicine for Guys (humor plus plants for the win)
Michael Phillips weaves his own web of astounding connections regarding 'what holds this earth together' in Mycorrhizal Planet. Not since Paul Stamets' pioneering inquiry into mycelium running have we been blessed by such a synthesis that tells how symbiotic fungi are the true and most trustworthy stewards of this planet.
Gary Nabhan, University of Arizona

 

Tilting at Windmills

We so appreciate those of you who purchase books directly from the creators of the work. Frankly, it goes against all odds to even try to compete with high-volume booksellers on the Internet. Cutthroat discounts tear at the heart of personal incentive and local economy. Directing that retail margin instead to the author (or your local independent bookstore) keeps things humming, much like going to the farmer's market to support your favorite farmers. And you in turn can get those books inscribed by Michael and Nancy, now, live and inspired!  

watercolor by Scribble: Michael with scythe



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