Garden On, Vashon

Gardening, cooking, building, designing, dreaming…

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Don’t Miss the Fruit Show on Sat, Nov 2

October 24th, 2013 at Thu, 24th, 2013 at 2:46 pm by Karen Dale

Interested in growing fruit organically? Having your mystery apple identified? Foiling that insect pest that is plaguing your backyard fruit? Tasting a variety of apple you’ve barely heard of?  

This and more will be possible at Vashon Island Fruit Club’s annual FALL FRUIT SHOW, next Saturday, November 2 from 10-3 at the Senior Center and the Land Trust Building. It’s free.

I went last year and had a grand time handing out taste samples from the nearly 100 apple varieties on display in the senior center. And starting at 10 again this year, you can get your “Mystery Apple” identified through the expertise of Dr. Bob Norton, or Jean Williams, president of the Peninsula Fruit Club, or Lori Brakken, present emeritus of the Seattle Tree Fruit Society, and author of the new apple identification site,

But I may spend more time this year in the Land Trust lecture hall. The speakers promise to be THAT good. 

At 11am, Vashon’s own Dr. Ethan Russo presents his take on “The Holistic Orchard: Experiences on Vashon with an Organic Spray Program,” which is based on Michael Phillips’ ground-breaking book “The Holistic Orchard,” the focus of a fruit club study group this year. Dr. Russo has worked with the Holistic Orchard method here, which claims to boost fruit growth and plant vigor, reduce insect predation and strengthen the soil.

At 1 pm, Dr. Beverly Gerdeman presents “Backyard Fruit Pests in Western Washington.” Now some of you may have noticed more tiny drill-holes in your fruit or berries this summer than ever before, and you may be seeing the predations of a new pest, Spotted Wing Drosophila. Dr Gerdeman, a research scientist from WSU’s dept. of Entomology’s Mount Vernon station, will present organic, biological, and IPM techniques for protecting backyard fruit from damaging insects, including Spotted Wing Drosophila. Dr. Gerdeman is an entertaining, passionate speaker with an extraordinary series of insect images.

At 2pm enjoy “The Bob & Al Show: a Conversation with Drs. Al Watts and Bob Norton.” Dr. Watts of Appleyard Farms, long recognized for his decades-long experience growing fruit on Maury Island, has just returned from a fruit tour in Turkey and has stories to tell. Club co-founder “Dr. Bob” is a Maury-based pomologist who developed the fruit-growing program at WSU’s extension station in Mt. Vernon. Between them, they have over 150 years of fruit-growing experience, much of it in Western Washington.

So allow enough time to visit the informational tables, sample fruit, get your mystery fruit IDed (bring 1-2 examples) and take in our presentations. I’ll be there with my book-bag & apron, selling copies of “Garden On, Vashon!’ right off my hip (not officially a part of the Fruit Club program, but they’re allowing me to sell on premises) The Fruit Show is free of charge and open to all.

PS: Book Update: I anticipate that copies of “Garden On, Vashon!” will go on sale in local retail outlets just after Halloween. I’ll still be selling books “off my hip and outta my car”, too (cash, check, or credit-card reader, and Gawd do I love my Square Reader…). Kickstarter pledgers should have their copies by end of next Monday, Oct 28.

gardens on the south end of Vashon Island, on a sandy hilltop overlooking Quartermaster Harbor. "Garden On, Vashon" shares what the Island has to teach us about gardening HERE—from making soils to sowing seeds to raising plants to harvest, cooking, preserving, and designing new ways to cultivate your little chunk of Vashon Island. To contact me, email, or leave a comment.

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