- Abundance & Productivity! Lots of fruit set this year & we had our best harvest yet in 2016. Volunteers collected 4093 pounds of fruit from the neighborhood, and delivered over 945 pounds of fruit to those in need. Yay! THANK YOU to all who participated.
- We found a new favorite site for pressing apples, at Common Ground Garden, at Van Buren & 21st. The garden provides a nice friendly community space, and the apple pulp leftovers provide nice compost and soil amendments. Roll up the portable sink and the cider press & plug it in (thanks for the power, neighbors!), and we are ready to go. We had two popular cider pressings at Common Ground Garden where folks pressed 1558 pounds of apples into cider. You might still get to taste some in a bottle if you’re lucky.
- Several nice orchard ladders were donated along with some handy wearable picking buckets. For the busy harvest period, the ladder were VERY helpful so multiple groups could pick at once. The buckets increased productivity as well as safety. It sure is helpful to have hands free up on a ladder. Thanks J & J Farm for your generous donation!
- Pruning is fun & it works! Though sometimes it doesn’t… Most of the trees that were pruned before the 2016 season responded well in the summer with abundant fruit, and they were much easier to harvest. But some pruned trees didn’t fruit much at all, which could have been related to the pruning. Or maybe not. Either way, the trees are healthier, & hopefully were better able to survive 2016’s late ice storm!
- Community building! The group of participants grew nicely this year, with many new harvesters and some new folks willing to share fruit. Outreach got better and easier (thanks MailChimp). Neighbors got some quality bonding time with their Friendly fruit while pruning or harvesting or sipping.
Looking forward to 2017!
Friendly Fruit – Summer 2016
Friendly fruit is ripe and ready!
The 2016 harvest season has arrived here in the Friendly neighborhood. Early pears (like the above Ubilene), plums, and early apples are ripe. There are 27 neighborhood sites registered with the Friendly Fruit Tree Project so far, and 77 interested harvesters. However, there are only 5 volunteers to coordinate the fruit harvests. More folks are needed! You can get oriented to what’s involved in being a harvest leader this Sunday Aug 21 from 9:30-11am (before it gets too hot) as we harvest apples. Email email@example.com and I’ll let you know the location.
You also can see the July 2016 newsletter here.
Spring info from the Home Orchard Society
Here are some hand-picked articles and information provided by the Home Orchard Society.
Pacific Northwest Pests tool: track and forecast the emergence of pests and diseases incredibly accurately, with pictures to help identification: http://pnwpest.org/cgi-bin/ddmodel.us
The Good, The Bad and the Ugly Bugs – http://www.hobbyfarms.com/the-good-the-bad-and-the-ugly-bugs-2/
Recognizing Insect Larval Types – https://entomology.ca.uky.edu/ef017
Spotlight: Apple Maggot – http://entnemdept.ufl.edu/creatures/fruit/tropical/apple_maggot_fly.htm
Coddling Moth: Our #1 Apple Pest – http://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/PMG/PESTNOTES/pn7412.html
Western Cherry Fruit Fly – http://jenny.tfrec.wsu.edu/opm/displaySpecies.php?pn=150
Managing Flatheaded Appletree Borer – http://extentopubs.tamu.edu/eee_00027.html
European Earwig – http://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/PMG/PESTNOTES/pn74102.html
Brown Marmorated Stink Bug in Oregon – http://horticulture.oregonstate.edu/group/brown-marmorated-stink-bug-oregon
See also the HOS Fruit Care Calendar in the resources page.
Can’t wait to see how the trees respond to our PRUNING!
Friendly Fruit Tree Project volunteers got out in the wet and pruned 7 lucky fruit trees this 2016 winter season. The pruning focused on opening up space in the neglected trees. As author Michael Phillips writes (jokingly), “You done a good job at pruning if afterward you can take the family cow and fling her between the branches”. This space will discourage moisture issues by providing better air circulation, it will allow more light to reach fruit on the remaining easier-to-reach branches, and it will help the tree to heal where dead wood was removed. We gained confidence with practice, starting “a conversation”, and by “being the bud”. It will be exciting to watch how the trees respond!
Before & after:
During the 2015 harvest season, Friendly Fruit Tree Project volunteers collected 1620 pounds of fruit from the neighborhood, and delivered 533 pounds of fruit to those in need. Yay! THANK YOU to all who participated.
Here are some highlights from the FFTP 2015 season:
- The Eugene Sunday Streets event, where city streets from Common Ground Garden to Friendly Market were car-free for a day. Walkers and bicyclists were encouraged to linger and meet a neighbor at any of the impromptu musical performances, yard sales & street art, and of course the freshly pressed cider tastes, courtesy of the FFTP. It made for a fun Friendly party, and introduced many neighbors to the FFTP. For those who generously donated, or purchased a fruit tree or vine from the FFTP, thank you!
- An impressive 90 pound grape harvest was moved with foot- and bicycle-power only, no motor vehicles!
- Attending the All About Fruit Show in October, in Canby, OR. The fruit variety for tasting was amazing. See a previous post here. You can purchase some of the varieties here.
- A single abundant persimmon tree yielded 300 pounds this year! Persimmon trees are among the most delicious & carefree fruit trees to grow in Eugene. An added bonus (from the FFTP perspective) is the fruit harvesting can be left until Thanksgiving or later, after other trees are harvested. This particular persimmon variety needed some ripening on a counter (maybe weeks) before it turned pudding-like sweet. Try them dried too, they are a sweet treat with a unique taste.
- Highlight #1 from the 2015 harvest season was the relationship-building that happened alongside the FFTP. For example, relationships between new Harvest Leaders and the stewards of the newly “adopted” fruit trees, relationships with the ToolBox Project as we shared tools, and relationships with the fruit trees and vines themselves, as their growing and fruiting habits were better understood.
Looking forward to the 2016 season!
All About Fruit Show
The Home Orchard Society’s All About Fruit Show was on Oct 17&18th and I was finally able to attend this year. Over 500 varieties of heirloom fruit were available to see and taste, including apples and pears, as well as grapes, kiwi-berries, sea berries, paw paws, quince. There was fresh-pressed cider, fruit identification, tool sharpening, and plants for sale. The large fruit contest winners were HUGE! But the highlight was the spread of fruit to taste. Some favorites included a Suntan apple, an Egremont Russet apple, a Taylor’s Gold pear, and a kiwi-berry called Orus 1-2. I tasted Ashmead’s Kernal, which is available locally at Sundance, which is a wonderful apple. Some of the apple varieties that the Friendly Fruit Tree Project grafted at last year’s Spring Propagation Fair were available to taste too,
including Rhode Island Greening, Roxbury Russet, Ben Davis, and York Imperial.
Want to plant a rare & delicious apple tree? FFTP is offering neighbors potted trees, and we’ll help plant them, by donation. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
September ’15 update
Harvest season is in full swing! Over 600 pounds of fruit has been harvested so far from the Friendly Area Neighborhood, thanks to volunteer efforts. The amount of fruit seems to be less than previous years, which might be related to the hot weather in spring when fruit was setting, and a hot summer. But the project has grown nicely in other ways, both in terms of volunteers and fruit “stewards” who have offered to share their fruit.
If you know of fruit that is not being used, either yours or a neighbor’s, let’s try to get it harvested before the season ends. Go ahead and knock on a door & meet a neighbor! You can direct folks to friendlyfruittreeproject.org to register fruit online, or complete a printed form (print it here), or leave a note (print from here).
Questions? Contact email@example.com.