Tag Archives: Cider Fest

New Watering System Is On Tap

October 1, 2017

It’s fascinating how one mulberry or one thornless blackberry can sustain me while I work in the sm-persimmon-wp_20171001_002orchard. Just that brief sweet juicy explosion can satisfy, nourish and make me smile. These two fruits are new to the orchard and they have proved their worth.

It will be several weeks before we know whether the new persimmons will mature or not but otherwise, we are nearly finished with the harvest.

We have donated an estimated 244 pounds to the food bank. Now, however, the sun weakens and plant production is slowing.

sm-reseeded-lettuce-wp_20170928_001The transition to fall plants such as radish, lettuce, cilantro, mustards, arugula and various cover crops has begun. Check out that germination rate of lettuce that Sue let go to seed! It looks like carpet. Thinning could be a challenge.

We ended up with tasty samples of all apple and pear varieties, even though the winter moth larvae took out many of the blossoms last spring. The good ole Liberty was the best performer and we have enough Liberty to reward the Cider Fest volunteers this coming Saturday.

The dry summer taxed every plant. Our aim is to water just enough to keep the fruit and nut trees in good health. I believe that they got enough water but next year’s crop will tell the tale. We do think the berries and grapes were under watered.

Sat, Oct 7, 2-5, Cider Fest!
Apple contributions are welcome! We have science exhibits for the kids. Cider and pie slices.
Sun, Oct 15, 2-4, Work Party

Sun, Nov 19, 2-4, Work Party
Sun, Dec 17, 2-4, Work Party

In the interest of saving water, saving time watering, and allowing watering to be physically easy, we have applied for another Seattle Dept of Neighborhood matching grant. It’s a small grant, about $10,000, but should be enough to buy a manual pump, ollas, some vertical perforated pipe and low-pressure, gravity fed drip irrigation materials. We also are beneficiaries of a used 1,000-gallon cistern, which could be enough assistance to free us from using city water.

We are in need of a mechanical or civil engineer to help us with choice of pump to carry water from shows-hose-in-and-hose-out-treadle-pump-1the cisterns out to the beds. Choosing the right pump will be critical to the efficacy of the whole irrigation system to the food bank beds. Contact us if that engineer is you or your friend!

Please join us for our annual celebration next Saturday between 2-5pm, rain or shine.

Ruth

The Harvest Is Early And Long

October 14, 2015

Much of the fruit we grow matured about three weeks early this year. We enjoyed honeyberry, 151013 chestnut close w tree leaf DSCN1000blueberry, raspberry, pears, apples, figs, chestnuts. Yes, chestnuts! This is out first year of fully pollinated chestnuts. (When the female flower was receptive, our Maraval was hand pollinated from a tree about a half mile away.)

The coddling moths must have found greener pastures because our William’s Pride and Liberty, the only apple trees with much of a yield this year, were nearly free of bug damage.

15109 Heritage rasp sm WP_20151009_003The harvest continued, right through our 5th Annual Cider Fest, due to warm fall temperatures. Raspberries (Heritage everbearing), strawberries (Glooscap), and figs are still ripening.

Congratulations to our outstanding Cider Fest volunteers. Well over 150 people enjoyed our October 4 event. Ingela’s cider making took center stage but we also enjoyed live music, hula hooping, beanbag 151004 hula hoop 21766578809_437e88739e_otoss, silent auction of beautiful hand made items from Janet S and pies suitable for varied diets.

We could not have a Cider Fest without apple donations. Sue Hartman from Tilth and Barb Burrill from CityFruit picked apples at other locations until their shoulders were sore. We pressed nearly 500 apples.

A special thanks to those who volunteered from beginning to end – Max, Liz, Sue, Ingela, Janet, and Nancy M! We appreciate others who also helped out and/or donated pies – Michele, Nancy H, Melody, Joan, Renee, Jen K, Robert & Teri and Jennifer K.

Visitors complimented us on recent orchard improvements and six new people signed up to volunteer! We welcomed fruit lovers from other parts of town who were participating in CityFruit’s OrchardTour_BingoCard cropped halfOrchard and Harvest Tour. CityFruit sent out an invitation to the public, inviting all to visit 16 different public orchards. Participants were easily noticed, busily filling in Bingo cards. Players could get 18 of 25 possible search items stamped from our orchard alone! One search item was, “Something that doesn’t belong in an orchard”. Nancy M helped out the Bingo players by bringing a can of beans.

While most were indulging in warm apple cider, Jen K, a friend of the orchard, was confirming the increasing biodiversity of this 12,500 square foot space. She took a fine photo of a leafcutter bee on a calendula flower. (Note the pollen is carried 151004 Klock leafcutter bee IMG_4215on the belly.)

We are creating even more infrastructure this fall and winder. Let us know if you can help with the new garden beds. We are racing to move dirt into the beds before the weeds take over.

Ruth

5th Annual Cider Fest This Sunday

October 2, 2015

You are all invited to our fifth annual Cider Fest this Sunday, noon to 3:00pm.poster for ruth_2015_letter1

Our event coincides with a tour of public orchards put on by CityFruit. We are one of 16 public orchard sites on the CityFruit tour. We will see orchard tour visitors between noon and 4:00pm, all trying to get their bingo cards filled in!

Help us celebrate our shed remodel, cistern installation, and a crushed rock path addition, all funded by a matching Grant from the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods.

Enjoy free pressed cider.
Donations are welcome if you are interested in homemade items or pie slices!

Freeway Estates Community Orchard
5th Annual Cider Fest
Sunday, October 4, 2015, from noon to 3:00 pm (CityFruit orchard tour continues to 4:00pm).
6th Ave NE, just two blocks south of NE 65th St

Ruth