July 8, 2022 Who liked the June Seattle weather? The slugs, that’s who! We scorned them as they began to diet on the little green bean plants. Actually, the celeriac, parsnips and salsify, plus most of the cool weather greens were delighted with the Juneuary weather. But, here’s a strange twist. Soon after the brassica […]

Plant Pathogens – Pasteurize? Sterilize? Sanitize? Boil Everything!

March 26, 2019 Recently, I was watching someone rinse a plastic polyethylene plant-potting container in a bleach solution for reuse. I was pretty sure that pot needed to be thoroughly rinsed of organic matter prior to the bleach rinse. The observation made me think of several reasons why a gardener needs to know how kill […]

Get To The Root Of The Matter

February 4, 2019 Last week Sue helped us plan the vegetables for the year. We were thinking of what to plant near the far north olla and we got out our photos of plant root lengths from the summer. The olla best serves a plant with a deeper root system. (See Water Conservation page on […]

What’s in the Air is Fair

January 12, 2019 Is it risky to eat food grown next to the Freeway? Orchard visitors sometimes ask this question. It is an especially interesting question to me, an Environmental Protection Agency retiree and air quality specialist. The two principle ways food can become contaminated from environmental pollutants are through soil and air. In urban […]

Fall Fruit Tree Follow-up

November 30, 2018 Fall is a fine time to do investigative work in the orchard and plan for winter or spring pest management. Confirming that our Harrow Delight pear problem was Pear Trellis Rust (Gymnosporangium sabinae) was an excellent warm-up exercise, since the blemishes on the leaves are so clearly identifiable. I made a leaf […]

It’s A Game Of Mistakes

October 20, 2018 Why didn’t soccer coaches ever have anything positive to say at halftime? Because they had just watched 45 minutes of errors. Even the pros only complete 57% of their passes in the final third of the field. I often feel this way about gardening; it’s a game of mistakes. First was my […]

Guarding the Grapes

September 23, 2018 The predictable announcement was, “Yum!” from anyone who tasted our Interlaken table grapes. One taster cocked her head and let her eyes drift upward, savoring the sweet with a little tart sensation. We were thankful to have a few grapes this year! Last year was a bust due to powdery mildew. In […]

Tulle – A Cool Tool

September 3, 2018 Stretching the parameters of our climate is part of gardening. We add row covers or netting to keep out a pest or alter sunlight transmission. But it’s not that simple is it? These tools can affect soil and air temperature, humidity, wind, light penetration, pollination, and productivity. Did you know red shade […]

In Praise of the Power of Pollinators

August 5, 2018 Gardening is hard work. It is rewarding, but the task is never over. That’s why we should always remember to give thanks to all the help we get at the orchard. Our wonderful volunteers help keep us going. But our hardest workers are some of our smallest. Without our pollinators, we wouldn’t […]

Water Conservation in 2018 – Is It Working?

August 2, 2018 Please visit us this Saturday, 10-noon, for a tour of our new watering system. We will have signage throughout the orchard and we will be anxious to get your ideas about how we can manage water even more efficiently. Our system begins with our three cisterns, which catch 4,000 gallons during winter […]

Water Conservation – Ideas are still percolating in …

June 21, 2018 Yesterday I set out to water the fruit and nut trees for the first time this year. I thought it would be a lot of work because 1) it has been hot and, 2) because May precipitation was a record low .3 inches and June is just average at 1.29 inches so […]