A Great Loss

Our Fruit Garden Designer, past president and long term board member, Kristan Johnson, passed away this month on November 17th.

Kristan was hired by WWFRF in 1997 to design the Fruit Garden and he ended up designing the basic layout of the entire WSU Volunteer Display Garden area. That same year he began to serve on the board of directors of WWFRF, and later served as president for 6 years. As the Fruit Garden designer and chair of the Fruit Garden committee, he guided the development of the Fruit Garden through the years and even personally moved many of the plants that were transplanted from the WSU plots so that they would remain available for public viewing after the WSU tests were competed.

Kristan had boundless enthusiasm, energy, and a multitude of ideas which he channeled into projects such as the Fruit Garden self-guided tour signs and the unique espalier Welcome sign. He will be greatly missed by all of us.

Tom Wake (Garden Manager), Christy Nieto, and Kristan Johnson in 2015

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What’s coming next?

We are making plans for next year and all we can tell you right now is that our Winter Field Day with Annual Membership Meeting will take place online. We are hoping to be able to make scion wood available and we hope to have a series of educational online classes with the audience able to ask the instructor their questions at the end of the class. Check here for more information in early January and we will also be sending emails to update our members about our plans.

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Apple & Pear pickup info email was sent to current members

The email was sent to current members about 10 days ago. If you are a current member and have not signed up for a time slot coming this Saturday the 10th, and cannot find the info email please send an email to info@wwfrf.org if you wish to get another email sent to you.

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Apple & Pear Day pickup information email coming soon

We are still working out the details, but those of you with current memberships will receive their emails with information about how to get a time slot for the Apple and Pear Pickup day by Thursday, September 24th. October 10th will be one day set aside for picking up fruit, beginning at 10 am to 1 pm or maybe a little later.

Sorry about the delay. This is something entirely new for us so it is taking us a little more time than expected to work out the details.

Thank you.

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Apple and Pear Day alternative

Due to Covid 19 restrictions our Sample the Apple & Pear Harvest day is cancelled. However, we are working on an alternative way to distribute fruit to our members. The newsletter will be coming out by email at the end of next week and it will give details about the fruit distribution.

The newsletter will be sent out to people who’s membership has expired during the last 2 or 3 years, as well as current members. Be sure to read the email for it will tell you whether your membership is current or if you need to renew. Only people with current memberships will be sent the link and information about how to get an appointment for picking up apples and pears.

More information will be posted here on the website soon.

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Winter Field Day Cancelled!

We are sorry to have to announce that our Winter Field Day, which was to take place this Saturday, the 7th of March, is cancelled due to concerns over the Coronavirus. Several of our speakers have cancelled and other people have expressed concern. We will cover the same subjects next year. Here is a letter from our President, Bob Baines about this.

To members and fans of WWFRF – NW Fruit

I am sorry to announce that we have canceled out 2020 Winter Field Day. Coronavirus has been dominating the news for the past month, but multiple cases and several deaths in Western Washington this week have very much brought it “closer to home” Our event planners and board members have been discussing whether to cancel for several days. While public health experts have not called for a ban on public events at this time, they have asked the public to remain calm but to be cautious. Based on a vote of all of our Board of Directors we agreed to cancel the event with no objections (with one vote of “present”). Several of our speakers and key event coordinators had concerns about themselves or family members being in the “most vulnerable” demographic groups and do not wish to attend. The Winter Field Day is our most important event of the years and regional fruit growers consider it one of highlights of the fruit growing education calendar, but it would be a stretch to call it essential. Without the key participants who have declined to attend this year we don’t feel that we could provide the quality experience that our guests have come to expect. Our sincere apology to anyone who has been inconvenienced by our decision.

The scionwood we have collected and prepared will be made available to other regional fruit clubs if they decide to host their typical spring fruit shows. We plan to host a fruit education event sometime this summer to make up for the lost educational and outreach opportunity. Such an event would include our annual membership meeting which we normally have during the Winter Field Day.

Our organization has been experiencing some recent growth and revitalization which you can read about in my President’s Message in our recent newsletter found on our website. I hope that we can generate some new activity this year and turn this lemon into lemonade. So please check the website regularly to see what’s happening.

Bob Baines

President

WWFRF – NW Fruit

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Winter Field Day coming March 7, 2020

Join us at our annual Winter Field Day on Saturday, March 7, 2020! This year we’ll have a special emphasis on the culture and training of dwarf apple trees plus rootstock and scion wood sales, workshops on pruning and grafting, and Fruit Garden demonstrations on pruning.   We hope to see you there!

You can look at the list of scion wood and rootstocks that will be available for sale here.

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Sample the Apple & Pear Harvest Oct 12, 2019

Our Sample the Apple and Pear Harvest Day will have a somewhat new format this year. There will be cider and apple variety tasting going on starting at 10:45 am so that you can get a taste of varieties and learn where your favorites are in the Fruit Garden before the picking begins. We will have a period for picking fruit before the educational talks begin, allowing each person to get some of their favorite fruit varieties, and then we will have three educational talks in succession: Our Antique Apple Collection, Kiwi growing and our new kiwi trellis, and Figs and Medlars. Picking will continue for those who do not wish to attend the educational sessions.

Please note:
We will be handing out bags for people to put fruit in. Do not bring your own bags. No buckets, carts, wagons or wheelbarrows will be allowed. If you are handicapped and need help carrying bags let us know and we will help you.

Sample the Apple & Pear Harvest Schedule

10:30 am Registration begins

10:45 am – noon Apple and Cider sampling

11:00 am Opening talk at Cider table

11:15 am Picking begins

12:00 – 1:30 pm Educational talks

2:00 pm End of event

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Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon date changed

The date for the Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon has been changed to Thursday, August 1st at noon at the south end of the Fruit Garden. All volunteers are invited.

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Saturday volunteer/educational opportunity

Saturday volunteer/educational opportunities coming!
Those of you who work during the week will soon have an opportunity to volunteer and learn in the Fruit Garden on the 3rd Saturday of each month.   Mike McWilliams will be leading the volunteers. For more information and to sign up click here.

Mike McWilliams teaches about pruning in the Fruit Garden.
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