Tag Archives: volunteers

The Legacies of Five Pioneer Volunteers

December 1, 2020

One speaker, from a recent soil-related Conference of Hawaii Farmers Union (HFUU), declared that he wanted to leave a legacy. He aspired, during his tenure as a farmer, to create as much great soil as he could.

Volunteers are needed! Please see our Calendar Page or email
freewayestatescommunityorchard@gmail.com

Our early volunteers shaped what FECO is today, and their legacies vary. This past week I looked through my notes and summarized what we appreciate about five of those volunteers.

Bryon W – Legacy – Hard-working

Bryon came to the orchard in June of 2011 and usually brought his alert five-year-old daughter (who ate worms with no hesitation, just let them slide down the hatch).

Bryon was a professional landscaper and held a permaculture certificate. He sat in on the initial meeting with representatives from WSDOT, SDOT, and Richard Conlin’s office. ‘Sat in’ isn’t quite right … we all sat on a pile of chips, which was all that was in the orchard, but for a few trees.

He helped dig out the blackberry along the sound wall, made our first compost bin, taught a compost class and, at the 2011 Cider Fest, presented a beautiful design showing how the orchard could be developed. He was willing and able to be involved in every aspect of FECO.

Today his family lives in Colorado and he recently added a ‘food forest’ to the Eagle (CO) Community Gardens.

Maximo M – Legacy – Good-natured

Max joined FECO in November of 2012 and put in nearly seven years until he moved to Portland with his fiancé Maya. Math was Maximo’s strong suit and he would always check or make calculations. Lucky for us, he was able to quickly add markings, to represent each 5 gallon increment, on the round elevated water barrels. He bailed me out several times when I needed something to add or change on our WordPress website. During the 2013 Cider Fest, he took responsibility to make notes of all steps to setup and operate the Cider Press.

Max was interested in everything. He hosted a class on Invasive Plants, helped plan a class on Herbs, taught by Maya and Sue, and volunteered at most every event from the 2013 Night Out through the 2019 Herb class. He would often surprise us with baked cookies at work parties.

Nancy M – Legacy – Welcoming

Nancy volunteered for five years, beginning in July of 2013. She would be the first to ask for event flyers so she could post them in the complex she lived in. She faithfully would act as greeter at events and was very attentive to visitors. She helped me shop for a nice sandwich sign board.

Another volunteer remarked that Nancy was always upbeat at work parties, regardless of how she might be feeling. She worked the garden plot that is four feet tall, planting squash and cucumbers.

One thing I really appreciate about Nancy is that she rounded up very talented musicians for every cider fest from 2014 through 2019, and Mary G was amazing at the Dulcimer.

Ellen H – Legacy – Enthusiastic

Ellen also began volunteering in 2013. She would take the bus down from Woodinville, She knew Nora L and they would often work together. Their claim to fame was tearing out all the invasive English Ivy along the sound wall. It didn’t matter what was on the list for the work party; they got out the ladder, loppers and a garden fork and seized the Ivy – Nora on the ladder and Ellen digging at the root. Her tasks also included all of the accounting for the 2015 construction grant!

Ellen might be anywhere these days. On the radar she might be in Vader, but she also loves the Parks. One summer she bid us adieu and left to volunteer at the Lake Roosevelt National Recreation Area. Before she left, she donated her favorite iris (Plachta family) for the William’s Pride guild.

Kimberly C – Legacy – Passionate

Kimberly hurled herself into the orchard in 2013. Within a few months time, she applied for a grant, carefully chose pollinator plants, then created an attractive planting design.

Kimberly was very interested in the idea of a pollinator pathway from Gasworks park, through Wallingford, and on into the orchard. She already knew of a pathway, developed by Sarah Bergmann, on Capital Hill.

From the Wallyhood news: “Congratulations to the Wallingford community for completing an astounding 54 outreach activities for Waste Management’s (WM) 2013-14 Think Green Recycling Challenge!” Kimberly’s outreach activity was a pollinator patch at FECO and she was awarded $330. She got in touch with Emily Sarah Gendler, a plant propagator, and they came up with a long list of native plants.

They ended up planting six red flowering currants (Ribes sanguineum), 10 strawberry plants (Fragaria choloensis) and 10 kinnickinnick (Arctostaphylos uva-ursi). She also seeded the Bee Plant (Phalacea tanacetifolia).

The pollinator patch is thriving and we have something useful and beautiful to remind us of Kimberly’s passion for bees.

Ruth

World Premiere Video – about FECO!

September 21, 2020

FECO World Premiere! Welcome to Freeway Estates Community Orchard

Here it is friends – a video about us! We commissioned a very talented and patient producer/videographer, Carter Raaen, and we were privileged to catch the following interview with him.

FECO: Did you watch movies/videos when you were younger?
Carter: Yeah. I have been watching movies all my life, especially Disney movies, kids movies. Now, I watch a movie every day.

FECO: A favorite Disney movie?
Carter: The 1991 version of Beauty and the Beast. The songs, the characters, and the story … everything was real good. There been sequels and a remake but I prefer the original.

FECO: What happened that made you want to make videos?
Carter: In 6th grade, I played video games, especially Minecraft. Friends were making videos of themselves building things with Minecraft and I started doing the same. We didn’t need any editing equipment, just our smart phones. I also started a YouTube channel. Making videos helped me appreciate movies and the behind the scenes work. When I started making videos where some editing was needed, I just used some screen recording software.

When I was a sophomore in high school, I took a photography class that taught me the basics. I learned some basics from my father; he had older cameras. I also took a film class that year and we made short videos in groups. My junior year I took a film class as well.

FECO: Do you have all of the equipment that you need?
Carter: I don’t have a videographer camera because they are too pricey … probably $2,500 or so. However, it is an inspiration to know that Shawn Baker and Steven Soderbergh just use their smart phones.

FECO: What obstacles did you face, at the beginning, or now?
Carter: Yeah. As I have done more research, I find you can get more phone accessories, but they are also expensive.

FECO: Did making our video give you any insights or new skills?
Carter: I got an app called Filmic Pro that allows me to make adjustments like I can with a real camera (shutter speed, ISO, etc.). Smart cameras don’t let you do that. So that was a new application for me. The other new thing was … I had never worked with a group other than my friends.

Volunteers are needed!
by appointment
please email freewayestatescommunityorchard@gmail.com
10th Annual Cider Fest!
Sat Oct 10, 2-4pm
check calendar for details

FECO: Is there a videographer network group for you in Seattle?
Carter: I don’t belong to any professional group. I do have a group of friends to make videos with. Most are the same people I made videos with as a sophomore in high school.

FECO: What is your ultimate goal with video making?
Carter: Not sure. I may get an undergraduate degree in Cinema & Media Studies. At any rate, I will be taking film classes at the UW. Maybe Hollywood, but it’s real competitive.

FECO: Is there anything else about videography that you think would be interesting to people outside “the know”?
Carter: A smart phone is a great way to start. It’s not nearly as hard as it used to be to make a film.

Thank you Carter.

Carter’s YouTube channel is www.youtube.com/nilmersteve
There, you can find his reviews of his favorite 46 animated films produced by Disney Studios.

Here’s an excerpt from his review of Beauty and The Beast:
” … Every song slaps in terms of purpose and Gaston as a hilarious villain and Belle is a great antagonist. The romance alone is super compelling and makes the average Disney love story look embarrassing …

Ruth

LINK TO THE FECO VIDEO

 

The Tyranny of the Harvest – Looking for Honeycrisp Lovers

August 29, 2020

You can watch summer squash grow. Just have a seat. The plant explodes with six at once. You are hurriedly trying to remember who likes squash, before the fruits look like footballs.

“Would you like to take a yellow squash?”, I asked a volunteer at the end of his shift.
“Oh no, I grow squash.” Then, he offers back, “Would you like some zucchini?”

Next, I look at a green bean, short and lean. I thought I had time before I had to pick. The very next day they ballooned. The gold rush is on. Now I must pick ever other day.

Then come the tomatillos, and then the elderberry – more goodies for volunteers.

The William’s Pride apples ripened a bit early this year, but the winter moth caterpillars thwarted most blooms. A small harvest but volunteers always appreciate apples.

 

This one’s for you. Let it sit four days.
For you these should chill in the refer, then two days on the table.
Iodine, thumb press, tacky peel … there are so many ways
I try to time perfect maturity, as much as I’m able.

The Honeycrisp apple tree was largely unaffected by the winter moth caterpillars. It is loaded. I thinned at least 190 apples from the tree. A few weeks later, I asked Dane, a young helper, to thin again in the classic way: one apple per 6 inches of space. I turned my head and handed him the pruners. Still, even with this final thinning, it will be a challenge to get them all distributed.

Volunteers are needed!
by appointment
please email
freewayestatescommunityorchard@gmail.com

Wednesday, I asked Sue if she had a Tyranny of the Harvest story. “Sure.” she said.
(Note: Sue is infatuated with growing tomatoes, in spite of our wimpy summers. Story is a bit edited.)

When I managed the Adult Learning Garden at Seattle Tilth (now Tilth Alliance), each year I would wait until October to take my summer vacation then drive to Colorado and New Mexico to visit family. I packed the trunk with boxes of green tomatoes. They sat in the back, baking in the sun, and they ripen at different speeds. Our aim way to share with everyone we visited along the way.

 

Last year, we left a cousin in Salt Lake City
And were near to our friend in Grand Junction
Bad timing; no additional ripe tomatoes. What a pity!
We had to skip that visit, with some compunction.
In the end, we met our goal: to use all of them, have none rot,
before we got to our last stop.

Go Sue!

Today, as I was leaving the orchard, I walked past the Honeycrisp. Dare I look? I glanced up and I saw an apple with those streaking red vertical lines – big, with good color. Oh my, nearly ripe.

Friends of FECO! We invite you to make a $20.00 donation for 5 pounds of organic Honeycrisp (average retail price in Washington State.)
You will need to let us know right away! You can order more than 5 pounds.
(We are out of money and we still have supplies to purchase this year.) Thank you.

freewayestatescommunityorchard@gmail.com

Ruth