NW Fruit began as Western Washington Fruit Research Foundation (WWFRF), which was created in 1991 to help fund Tree Fruit Varietal Research conducted at the Washington State University Research and Extension Center (NWREC) located in Mount Vernon, WA. We are dedicated to supporting research and educating the public about the special fruit growing concerns of our Pacific Northwest region.
In 2017 we added the trade name of NW Fruit which is more descriptive of our purpose than the acronym WWFRF.
As each of the research trials at NWREC was completed, many of the plants from the trials were moved into our Fruit Garden so that the public could see the results from 40 years of research.
Our 6 acre Fruit Garden was designed and constructed by WWFRF volunteers at the WSU Center. It is open to the public seven days a week from dawn to dusk and contains large informational signs and handouts that have been approved by WSU experts. Visitors can see demonstrations of culture such as extensive espalier, tatura trellis, and netting for bird control. The Fruit Garden contains a large collection of fruiting plants with many unique varieties, such as our collection of 17 variations of Gravenstein apples, our collection of antique apples from all over the world and unusual fruits such as medlar and blue honeyberry.
The Fruit Garden provides unique educational opportunities to the volunteers who care for it at our weekly work parties during the season. At our Winter Field Day members and the public can participate in the lectures and demonstrations of techniques in pruning, grafting, espalier, and pest and disease control. Members and the public have the opportunity to sample apples, pears and kiwi at our Sample the Apple and Pear Harvest in October. We have a Fruit Garden Tour that visitors can enjoy by exploring the 40 points of interest with informational signs and links to our website for more information about each point of interest.
Whether you are choosing two or three fruit tree varieties for a small urban backyard or have a larger orchard for family or even farmers-market production, we have the information you are looking for on variety selection and fruit culture here in the Pacific Northwest.
Please join our foundation to help continue this vital research and educational program.
To promote and support research and provide education for growing fruit in Western Washington State.
WWFRF Mission Statement
WWFRF exists to advance fruit horticultural programs for our unique Western Washington maritime climate through advocacy, research, education, and demonstration for the benefit of the general public and the small farmer.
WWFRF Vision Statement
Media emphasis on the nutritional value of consuming ‘fresh’ fruit is contributing to the rise in urban fruit-growing, along with the need to preserve our fruit growing legacy. Through ongoing research – nurseries, small farmers and backyard growers will be provided with the most sustainable fruit varieties and growing techniques for continued success. Western Washington Fruit Research Foundation is positioned to provide the needed support and guidance for this quality-of-life issue.
- Support the WSU Mt. Vernon Research & Extension Center’s fruit research programs via grants, public and commercial membership dues, and volunteer participation.
- Create hands-on opportunities for the general public through:
- Education: seminars on fruit culture, disease, pest control.
- Demonstration: pruning, grafting and espalier techniques.
- Fruit Garden: view and sample successful fruit varieties, and teach excellent cultural techniques.
- Creation of a six-acre Fruit Garden to demonstrate the value of fruit growing as a design element in the urban landscape… displaying various aspects of fruit culture to landscape architects, planners and home gardeners.
- Enhance public appreciation of the cultural diversity of our region by displaying fruit varieties from around the world.
- Build and maintain alliances with colleague organizations to ensure the economic viability of Western Washington horticulture.