Tag Archives: fruit and nut plants

Retirement Planning – Plants in the Spotlight

November 5, 2020

We are excited to introduce Karin Baer, our new intern. Karin is working toward a Urban Agriculture Production Certificate within the Horticulture Program at Edmonds College. She began helping in September and will be with us until the end of the term.

Karin worked many years as a nurse practitioner, until 2019, when she retired.

“I knew I wanted some structure after retirement. I have been gardening a long time, and so was drawn to the Edmonds horticulture classes.”

Now she can enjoy a deeper understanding of plants, and especially fruit and nut bearing plants. (Karin visited FECO last summer, as a student participant for the summer pruning class, taught by Ingela.)

“Horticulture Internships are not easy to come by,” she told me. “It’s because of COVID. Free labor sounds great but it’s challenging enough for organizations to deal with their regular employees.”

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

During her internship, she has been, or will be, working on pest management, orchard floor management, pruning, micro-climate observations, plant identification, propagation, and planting. She will gain experience in making compost via a thermal process, root pruning, and eventually, winter pruning and compost tea application.

Karin is reliable, alert, helpful, asks good questions and definitely pulls her own weight. She didn’t complain once about banding trees against winter moth protection, which involved getting up and down from the ground about 30 times. Then, she noticed we forgot a tree and she offered to go finish the job!

The most important plant skill to have is keen observation and Karin has a good eye. Last week I was spouting off about plant succession, or some such topic, and she stopped me. “Ruth, look at that persimmon.” Most of the noted persimmon had been scoured out by a rat. Thank you Karin.

This is the first year the rats have targeted the persimmons so I was taken by surprise. Some netting and upside down pie pans were applied to the tree but, we shall see if the strategy works.

If you volunteer on Thursdays between 11-2 you will meet Karin and you will surely enjoy this plant enthusiast.


Adiós Allison!

May 19, 2020

Allison got a radish. After a year and a half of hard labor, she walked away with a radish. Now it’s a nice radish, for a very nice person. Notice that grin. As if I had given her a new pole-pruner or something. Her smile is natural and so is her sense of tree care. She’s a good observer and a careful worker.

Allison emailed me this week that she was moving to Bellingham. She and her spouse will be near relatives, and they will have a yard. She is already dreaming about what trees she might plant!

Volunteers are needed!
by appointment
please email us

I am so excited for her and her spouse. But, I lost a good pal…

Sue ran into Allison at a Tilth event, after Allison had taken the CityFruit Tree Steward Program. Sue invited her to the orchard and Allison accepted.

She met me nearly every Tuesday afternoon to help with tasks related to the fruit and nut trees and berry bushes. She has been pruning, thinning, covering apples with footies, squishing winter moth and sawfly larvae, sheet-mulching, grafting, cutting out cankers, weeding and planning.

I will really miss her. She’s top class.

We all wish the very best for you and your family Allison. Please visit soon.  Ruth


Please Welcome Chris Waldref to the Orchard

February 14, 2017

Thanks to the efforts of City Fruit, we have a paid intern to review our stewardship of our fruit and sm-chris-wp_20170209_13_57_09_pronut plants. Chris Waldref (see photo) will critique our orchard management plan and ensure that we follow it (see plan documents in the Library Page).

Chris was born and raised in Seattle. After studying Environmental Science at the University of San Francisco and then living for a short period in Spokane, he is glad to be back in his home town. He worked with City Fruit last year as a Pest Prevention Steward and Harvester and is very excited about his new role as Freeway Estates Community Orchard Advisor. He is eager to help with orchard plan development and assessment. Chris is interested in urban ecology and enjoys spending time in our city parks and green spaces.

Sat, Feb 18, 1-3, Pruning Class
Sun, Feb 19, 2-4, Work Party
Sun, Mar 19, 2-4, Work Party

Chris will visit at various times throughout the year, making observations and gathering valuable data. I know our volunteers are looking forward to having an outsider take a fresh look at our methods.