Blog

December 27, 2021 Alec is a new volunteer. His profession is landscape design and he worked hard on the recent 60th St restoration project. He is also a stellar bird enthusiast and photographer! A couple of weeks ago, I spotted a bird in our yard that I did not know. Excited, I emailed Alec. Ruth: […]

And This Little Piggy Stayed Home … to sip Nettle tea

April 16, 2020 Stinging Nettle (Urtica dioica) is a perennial plant of the nettle family, Urticaceae. It makes a wonderful tea and, stir fried with cabbage and onion, is stunning (not stinging). This month, Nancy and I have been stalking the grounds near our house where we find chickweed, shotweed (or Hairy bittercress), dandelion and […]

The Microbes Version of the Thermal Compost

March 13, 2020 The Essence of A Thermal Compost as told by the microbes, in community Material Variety Amy Amoeba begins the compost story, “Wow. I just got thrown onto a big pile with critters I have never seen before.” “Yes indeed”, echos Belinda Bacteria ecstatically, “Look at all the nitrogen choices: one bucket beer […]

Ten Years at Freeway Estates

February 18, 2020 Volunteers who put in 20+ hours last year gathered recently to sip Chestnut soup and brainstorm. Good ideas flowed, including a suggestion to add a sign to the kiosk, summarizing our efforts during the past ten years. Below is the content created by the 20-hour club. Freeway Estates Community Orchard (FECO) is […]

Pathogen-Reducing Compost

January 14, 2020 © 2020 Benefits of compost are widely known: 1) enhances water holding capacity, soil structure, organic matter, drainage, and nutrient holding capacity of soil, 2) provides a source of beneficial microbes, 3) decreases both inputs (to your garden) and outputs (from your garden), a plus for sustainability, and, 4) reduces fertilizer and […]

Your Hori-Hori Could be Harboring Clubroot

November 26,  2019 © 2020   I meet weekly with the DirtLife group at Sound Bio Lab. Other members are scientists who are also interested in soil. We are designing a community-based science project so we surveyed the Seattle P-Patch gardeners, via their listserve. Fifty responded. Gardeners are interested in microbial diversity, effective composting and […]

How to Guard Against Leaf Miners

November 16, 2019 Joan here. I have been volunteering at FECO since the beginning of time. Recently, in my writing class, the instructor charged us to write a set of instructions for how to do something. Here goes! Leaf miner larvae were infesting the Swiss chard I was trying to grow in the FECO raised […]

Are Those Freckles?

October 18, 2019 Not Freckles. Dimples? Not dimples. Bitter pit. It’s a bothersome disorder, common in  Honeycrisp apples. In the cells of this apple, there is more air space and more pores than in normal apples. The pits are manifestations of clumps of dead cells. The scanned photo of an apple shows fewer veins in […]

Fall Means Festival!

September 28, 2019 Fall is here! On Saturday, October 12th we will be hosting our 9th annual Cider Fest from 2:00-5:00pm. We invite everyone to visit the orchard and enjoy a free cup of freshly pressed hot apple cider. You’ll have the opportunity to watch the cider making process and even take a turn at […]

The Perfect Fruit Tree Owner

August 29, 2019 McIntosh. My favorite. Most will say you can’t grow a Mac here. Well, there is at least one tree in the Seattle area. Lori Brakken, apple sleuth, drives around and slams on the brakes when she spots any apple tree. She saw a Mac in the Seattle area and called me up. […]

Offerings

July 26, 2019 Whatever we offer to the community, a larger offering comes back, in one way or another. Yesterday morning a teen was sitting cross-legged on the bench, reading a book. She stayed quite awhile. The bench is a small offering to those passing by. But a much more significant offering this year was […]