Supermarkets have a supply system designed to be economically efficient, usually meaning dealing with as few suppliers as possible in as large quantities as possible. That means the big chains ship the same apples across the country. This is incredibly inefficient from an environmental viewpoint, since good quality apples can easily be grown in every province in Canada, and long-haul trucking means apples are often picked unripe - they can be in transit for several days and then be stored for months in altered environments before they are allowed to ripen. This works if one just cares about "fresh" apples available at any time of the year, but a specific variety will taste the best if allowed to ripen on the tree (like most fruit). Because these storage systems often require specific levels of oxygen and nitrogen, and particularly a specific temperature range, they consume electricity as they sit in storage, unlike many root cellars, which is a great "pioneer" technology that I'd love to use myself... if only my water table was deeper! I am looking at the possibility of an earth-bag root cellar, though.
When most people think of pest control we think of pesticides or ways of killing bugs and critters that damage crops. While this is one aspect, there are several other directions to come from. One is environmental control. That is, instead of killing off the pest, I look at the world around the orchard and see what I can do to change the situation to prevent them from enjoying the area. So, for example, that could mean planting marigolds around the perimeter - several bugs and small animals apparently detest the odoriferous vegetation. Of course, they don't smell great to humans either, and it doesn't work in winter.
I just finished phase 2 of a fence. I started with stucco wire at the bottom to help keep out the rabbits, and above this I used a deer-fencing material from Lee Valley - a fine black polypropylene mesh which is invisible from 20' away. It looks like giant spider-webs in the morning after a frost - really neat. I dug in a few 6 x 6 posts, but mainly stapled the fencing to sturdy trees around the perimeter. It isn't very noticeable from the house, and I'll be able to grow grapes and other vines on it, which will further discourage animals from trying to push through. The deer test the fence about 3' above the ground, which is still the very sturdy stucco wire, and they can see the fencing go well above their jumping height, and so leave it alone. I'm sure if a full-size buck went charging through it could take it down, but unless one builds a fence across a deerpath that isn't likely to happen.
I've read about several other remedies to keep deer away - soap hanging from trees, various ways of spreading human smell around the yard (hair clippings, or spreading , and other sprays, but most seem to be temporary fixes (rain washes away scents, etc.) What are your remedies that work well?