Archive for the ‘Announcements’ Category


Seattle City Council Renews Support for City Fruit

Crates of fresh produce abound.

Funding will support future gleaning efforts that benefit food banks and meal programs across the city. 

Funding will support work on public and private land and help the organization expand into Northeast Seattle

City Fruit is grateful to the Seattle City Council for including $68,000 in the 2015 City budget for the organization’s gleaning programs. City Fruit recognizes Councilmember Sally Clark for her leadership. The funding will support City Fruit’s harvesting efforts on both public and private property and provide thousands of pounds of fresh fruit to meal programs and food banks around the city.

In addition, City Fruit thanks Councilmembers Jean Godden, Bruce Harrell, and Tom Rasmussen for their sponsorship of the budget package.

Hazel Singer, vice president of the City Fruit board of directors, thanked the Council, saying, “Funding from the City is critical to our harvest. With this support, we will be able to continue serving five neighborhoods in Seattle and add an additional area, Northeast Seattle, to our territory.”

With the City’s support in 2014, City Fruit harvested nearly 28,000 pounds of fruit, a record for the organization. Nearly all fruit was donated into Seattle’s emergency food system, including food banks and meal programs. In addition, the organization hosted over 50 work parties in support of public orchards and stewarded nearly 400 trees on public land.

City Fruit is also grateful to our members and supporters, for voicing their support to City Council!


Oh What a Night

When thinking about last night I just keep humming the brief refrain “Oh what a night”. The rest of the Four Season’s song doesn’t really apply but, ciderglassoh what a night. 250 (Two. Hundred. Fifty) City Fruit members, supporters, and cider fans came out to the Palace Ballroom in Downtown Seattle for City Fruit’s 4th Annual Cider Taste.

Mind. Blown.

While there folks sampled some amazing ciders from Schilling Cider, Seattle Cider Company, Dragon’s Head Cider, Finnriver, Nashi Orchards, Whitewood Cider, Alpenfire Cider, Snowdrift Cider Company, and Tieton Cider Works and snacked on small bites courtesy of Tom Douglas Restaurants. Everyone who attended also received a small souvenir glass courtesy of Capitol Cider.

shroom1In addition to the cider tastes, attendees were able to shop our marketplace and buy products from local companies, such as Glassybaby and Ballard Bee Company, and meet the authors of the books “Shroom“, “Good Fish“, and “Food Grown Right, In Your Backyard“.

Seeing the Palace Ballroom packed with people was the perfect way to celebrate the end of our record breaking 2014 harvest and kick off our fundraising and planning for 2015. This year we expanded to two new neighborhoods (Ballard and Wallingford) and harvested an incredible 25,000+ pounds of fruit (that’s almost 13 tons or more than the weight of two Asian elephants) that went to social organizations who helped put that fruit into the hands of those in need.

To say last night was our most cider2asuccessful Cider Taste to date would be an understatement. Not just in terms of attendance (did I mention 250 people were there?) and the number of cideries but also in the amount of money we were able to raise. Thanks to the generosity of those in attendance and sponsors like GLY Construction we raised $17,500, which goes a long way towards helping fund our 2015 harvest.

Last night was just AWESOME. It really inspired all of us to keep moving forward with the work we’re doing and we’re already starting to think about next year’s event (yes, we heard you, we’ll have more food). Everything we do, whether it’s this event or our harvest or our classes or any of our other programs, is possible because of your support so THANK YOU for cider1bcoming out and showing us you believe in what we’re doing. I know it can be a little bit of a cliché but it’s very true when I say we wouldn’t be here without all of you.

If you weren’t able to join us at the Cider Taste last night and would like to show your support for the 2015 harvest, you can make a donation here. Every dollar helps in fulfilling our mission to harvest the unused fruit growing in Seattle and to use it to help feed those who would otherwise not have access to high quality, fresh fruit.

Thank you again for your support of City Fruit, not just last night but over these many months and years. Here’s to 2015 being an even bigger year. Let’s harvest another elephant!

Whether or not you could attend you can relive (or experience) the evening via pictures and posts on social media.

Support City Fruit’s 2015 harvest with an online gift at

Larry Liang is president of City Fruit’s board of directors. 


City Fruit Receives Funding from Wallingford Community Council

The Wallingford Community Council has awarded City Fruit a grant of $5,000 to help support the care and maintenance of fruit trees located at Meridian Playground and along the Burke-Gilman Trail. This funding is made possible by the neighborhood’s participation in the Waste Management Think Green Recycling Challenge.

Specifically, City Fruit will use the funding to engage in a large-scale effort to prevent pests from destroying fruit on the trees in Meridian Playground and the Good Shepherd Center orchard. This is the first year City Fruit has stewarded the park, harvesting over 2,000 pounds of fruit for donation to food banks and cleaning up another 7,000 pounds of fallen fruit.

Additionally, City Fruit will use the Wallingford Community Council grant to increase the number of natural pollinators in the neighborhood through the introduction of mason bees and native plants. Pollinators are essential to the production of fruit.

City Fruit thanks Jim Fryett, President of the the Wallingford Community Council for his leadership, Lee Raeen for coordinating the grant process, and the full Council for their support of the organization’s mission and these important projects.



Luscious Landscaping with Fruits — A Special Lecture by Lee Reich

Lee Reich considers himself a farmdener —  more than a gardener, less than a farmer. And next month, the nationally recognized fruit tree and landscape expert will give a special talk in Seattle. On Sunday, August 10, join City Fruit, along with partners Bradner Gardens, Plant Amnesty, and the Seattle Fruit Tree Society, for a lecture and garden tour with Lee Reich at Magnuson Park.

Lee’s lecture, Luscious Landscaping with Fruits will cover:

  • Landscape features — fall color, beautiful flowers, and nice bark, of fruiting plants that are on a par with landscape features of strictly ornamental plants,
  • Landscape uses — groundcover, specimen shrub, hedge — that can be fulfilled by fruiting plants, and
  • The best fruiting landscape plants — in terms of low maintenance, pest resistance, ornamental assets, and good flavor.


Following the lecture, we will explore the gardens at Magnuson Park. Participants will have the opportunity to purchase Dr. Reich’s book and ask him their burning fruit tree questions!  Dr. Reich’s books include The Pruning Book, Weedless Gardening, Uncommon Fruits for Every Garden, Landscaping With Fruit, and Grow Fruit Naturally. He writes regularly for a number of gardening magazines and his syndicated gardening column for Associated Press appears biweekly from coast to coast.


His farmden has been featured in such publications as the New York Times and Martha Stewart Living, has won awards from National Gardening and Organic Gardening magazines, and has been included in “Open Days” tours of the Garden Conservancy.

Tickets are $15 for members of sponsoring organizations and $20 for the general public.  Don’t miss this special chance to learn from Lee Reich! Purchase tickets here. To receive the discount code for City Fruit members, email



Meet our Harvest Team!

Meet photo-2City Fruit’s 2014 Harvest Team! From left, Dusty Towler, who will be focusing on the West Seattle; Luke Jesperson, our Harvest Coordinator, who is working in the neighborhoods of South Seattle, including Beacon Hill, Columbia City, Mount Baker, and Rainier Beach; and Hamilton Anderson, who will harvest in North Seattle, including the neighborhoods of Ballard, Phinney/Greenwood, and Wallingford.

The harvesters will be out in their areas each weekday starting around 8:30am and collecting fruit until the early afternoon.  From there, the fresh and nutritious fruit will be delivered to food banks and meal programs in the same neighborhood.

If you haven’t had a chance to sign up for our annual harvest, fill out our quick tree survey here.


Top Ten Reasons You Should Vote for City Fruit to Win $50,000!

There’s less than a week left to vote for City Fruit in Zipcar’s Communities with Drive program! We hope you’ve taken the time to help us win $50,000 and expand our urban harvest.  If you need a little more convincing, we have compiled a list of reasons to vote for us:

10.  Figs! You may not know it, but figs are a fruit grown throughout Seattle. Our annual gathering of figs helps sustain the harvest, as the fruit is too delicate for most food banks and we are able to sell them to partners like Tom Douglas Restaurants.


9. Apple cider. Each fall, we celebrate the apple harvest with a series of apple cider events in Seattle neighborhoods.  We also loan out our apple presses – one manual, one electric – to community organizations.  Tasty, delicious fresh apple cider? Yes, please!

8. Partners for a more sustainable future. We have a diverse range of partners that believe in the work we are doing and who help fund the harvest and our programming, including the City of Seattle Department of Parks and Recreation, the Washington Department of Natural Resources, and the King Conservation District.

7. Network of tree owners. With hundreds of residencies from around the Seattle area donating their trees to City Fruit, we help build communal solidarity through the idea that everyone deserves access to fresh, healthy produce. Neighbors get to participate in the sharing economy and build a stronger sense of community.

6. 55,000 pounds of fruit.  Over the last five years, City Fruit has harvested over 55,000 pounds of fruit from Seattle neighborhoods. This year the harvest is taking place in five neighborhoods – Wallingford, Ballard, South Seattle, West Seattle, and Phinney-Greenwood. We hope to continue expanding to new areas with your support, harvesting more fruit and getting it to those in need.

5. Stewardship. We conserve and protect Seattle’s natural resources by encouraging organic tree care, reducing the amount of pesticides entering our streams and oceans, and providing a healthy environment for our precious pollinators. Many of our orchard sites were once overrun with blackberry vines and other invasives before stewards intervened. We’re working to preserve urban orchards for the next generation.

4. Dedicated and knowledgeable Orchard Stewards. We train and support a network of hardworking volunteers who are committed to caring for Seattle’s diverse urban orchards. This amazing group works year-round to care for fruit trees and share knowledge with the public.

3. Delivering fresh fruit to 50 programs and growing. During the harvest season, City Fruit donates fruit to local food banks, meal programs, senior centers, and daycares, among others.  We’ve reached over 50 programs in the last five years.

2. Amazing volunteers.  From orchard stewards, to local volunteers, to corporate partners, to our amazing and talented board of directors, our work would not be possible without community support from people like you.

1. Rescuing a local resource. We take wasted, unused fruit and make it available to the emergency food system. Food banks often struggle to provide fresh produce for their patrons, and fresh fruit is especially appreciated and valuable. We also find uses for fruit that isn’t fresh eating quality, such as fresh cider, hard cider, preserves, and dried fruit.


Help City Fruit Win $50,000 to fund the Urban Harvest!

FINAL_CommunitieswithDriveFinalistTemplate_LogoWe are thrilled to announce that City Fruit was chosen as a finalist of the “Communities with Drive” program, sponsored by Zipcar, Inc. and Ford Motor Company.  Communities with Drive is designed to acknowledge and reward organizations that have a profound impact on the communities in which they operate. As one of 25 finalists from over 400 entries and the only finalist in Seattle, we are eligible to win $50,000 in cash as well as $15,450 in Zipcar credit to support our mission. Winners of the Communities with Drive program are voted on by the public on Facebook.

Vote for City Fruit on Facebook! 

The cash prize and Zipcar credit will be used to fund our annual harvest in five Seattle neighborhoods: Ballard, Phinney/Greenwood, South Seattle, Wallingford, and West Seattle. The grand prize would enable us to reach more neighborhoods — translating unused, wasted fruit into healthy, nutritious food for our neighbors in need. Our work is more important than ever; half of Seattle families facing hunger are not eligible for nutrition programs like food stamps.  City Fruit, along with our partners, help to fill that gap.

Please vote here and help spread the news!


City Fruit Honors Two Volunteers

On Friday, May 30,photo City Fruit celebrated founder Gail Savina on her last day as executive director.  In honor of her work and dedication to the urban harvest, the City Fruit board of directors created the Gail Savina Award for Outstanding Service.

This award recognizes distinguished individuals who have dedicated their time and energy to help City Fruit grow and prosper. Like Ms. Savina, awardees have made substantial contributions of their time and unique talents, and have a passion for the urban fruit harvest.  The award is given at the discretion of the City Fruit board of directors, when an individual’s contributions warrant such recognition.

The inaugural awards went to long-time City Fruit volunteers and employees: David Beeman, who is responsible for developing and maintaining City Fruit’s IT systems and database, and Tabitha Borchardt, who created the look and feel of everything you see with the City Fruit logo and name, including this website.

Congratulations to our awardees! Look for two upcoming posts on Dave and Tabitha, to learn more about their work with City Fruit!


Guest Bartender Night at 50 North to Benefit City Fruit

GBN Poster CityFruit50 North Restaurant, located in the University Village neighborhood, has invited City Fruit to be their Guest Bartenders on Wednesday , August 21st. This is the restaurant’s way of creating a fun night for customers while raising money for a charity or cause.

50 North is a family-friendly neighborhood place with an excellent bar and great upscale American food. A fun evening is guaranteed!

Who? Everyone, friends, family, co-workers and then some…

What? A Fun Benefit for City Fruit

Where? 50 North – 5001 25th Ave NE #100 at Northcut Landing, just North of Chase Bank. Easy, free garage parking!

When? 6 – 9 pm on Wednesday, August 21st. If you want to stay for dinner, you can make a reservation at 50 North generally stops serving dinner at 9 pm and the bar and bar menu shut down at 10. If business demands it, they will extend hours as necessary.

Why? Why wouldn’t you want to have a fun evening with good friends while supporting City Fruit

How? 50 North helps us raise money through:
• 10% of special drink sales for the charity
• Tip Jars around the bar for the charity
• Stickers on the restaurant bills to write in an amount to give the charity and charge it to your credit card
• And they make a donation to the charity

More: Bring anyone you want – friends, family, and co-workers. We look forward to seeing everyone there!


Ethan Russo Lecture: New Strategies to Tackle Urban Orchard Pests

Ethan Russo will present the results of his personal experience using an organic spray regimen to prevent apple maggot fly and codling moth on Saturday, March 16, from 10:00 to noon at Seattle University. Don Ricks will join Ethan to discuss his experience with pheremones, traps and GF120.  This event is presented by Seattle University Grounds Department in collaboration with City Fruit.  Ethan Russo, a Vashon Island fruit grower by hobby and pharmacological researcher by profession, had excellent results using an organic spray recommended by Michael Phillips, author of The Holistic Orchard. Don Ricks, a local fruit tree expert, is a lead steward at Piper’s Orchard.

The event is free, although a $10 donation is suggested.  Space is limited.  RSVP by contacting and we will send you the room information.


Michael Natkin Supports City Fruit!

herbivoracious .  Chef, blogger and author Michael Natkin writes:  “I don’t care if you are a vegetarian, omnivore, carnivore, vegan, pescetarian, or flexitarian! Labels don’t matter. If you want to eat a meatless meal tonight, I want to make sure it is hearty, beautiful, and absolutely delicious.”  I bought his cookbook – I couldn’t resist.  herbivoracious makes you want to rush into the kitchen and get started.  NPR and Amazon voted it one of the 10 best cookbooks in 2012.  Michael is supporting City Fruit by donating $5 to us for every cookbook he sells online.  Buy it here. 



Homegrown Supports City Fruit with a Watermelon Caprese

Homegrown Sustainable Sandwich Shop is constantly striving to push the envelope on what social responsibility means in business today. They opened with a steadfast commitment to sustainable food sourcing and a rejection of wasteful products like bottled water.

As part of that, they created the Seasonal 10: an initiative that partners Homegrown with a like-minded non-profit each season for a donation of 10% of the sales from their seasonal sandwich. And this summer, they’re partnering with us!

They’ve created a tasty Watermelon Caprese: watermelon, heirloom tomato, fresh basil, feta cream + balsamic reduction. $6 for a small, $10 for a large. Plus you can add prosciutto for an extra $1. My mouth is watering just writing this.

So while you eat at their Fremont, Capital Hill, or Queen Anne locations, you are helping us cultivate urban fruit in order to nourish people, build community and protect the climate. Swing by Homegrown between June 21 and September 21 to support a great local business and local nonprofit.

Big thanks to the folks at Homegrown for their support!


Joining City Fruit in 2012 pays off

Starting in 2012, joining City Fruit will not only make you feel great for supporting a worthy cause — it will also save you money. City People’s Garden Store, Swanson’s Nursery, and Molly Moon’s Homemade Ice Cream are offering discounts (and free cones!) to people who join or renew their City Fruit memberships in 2012.






Join now to get these great deals! An individual membership is just $30 and a household membership is just $50. Your important contribution helps us continue to collect thousands of pounds of fruit each summer that helps feed low-income people in our community.

You can sign up online or send a check to the address listed here.


City Fruit October update

We have lots going on in October! If you don’t get our monthly newsletter, here’s what’s happening:

Hard cider!
We’re very excited to invite you to the City Fruit Hard Cider Tasting in Pioneer Square on Thursday, Nov 3 (it’s also Art Walk night). Alpenfire, Finnriver Farm and Cidery, Snowdrift and Tieton Cider Works will bring their Washington-made craft ciders and pearies. You can taste the ciders, meet the producers and buy some cider to take home. The Northwest Sustainability Collaborative and Northwest Cider Association are our partners. Proceeds from the event benefit City Fruit’s 2012 fruit harvest.

Thursday, Nov 3. 5 – 8 pm. 314 1st Ave So, Seattle (just down the block from the former location of Elliott Bay Books)
Tickets: Brown Paper Tickets or at the door.

Quince class this Saturday
Next up in our Beyond the Canning Jar cooking series is “Demystifying Quince” with culinary celebrity Amy Pennington. Chefs love quince, but the rest of us don’t know what to do with this exquisite fruit. Amy will teach you how to make quince jam and quince paste — yum– on Saturday, Oct 8, 10 am – noon at Dish It Up! in Ballard. Amy’s last book will also be available. Register online or mail a check to City Fruit.

Following on the next three Saturdays are: Shrubs (ancient drinking vinegars) Oct 15; Fruits – from Appetizer to Dessert, Oct 22; and Poaching, Roasting and Braising Fruit, Oct 29. We greatly appreciate the support of our partners, Dish It Up! in Ballard and The Pantry at Delancey — and hope you support them too.

Harvest festivals galore
Our five orchard steward groups are holding get togethers this fall to introduce neighbors to their urban orchards. On Sept 25 the five Ladies with Loppers and Ladders pressed apples into cider under a red tent along the Burke-Gilman Trail, as cyclists and joggers stopped to have a sip and the wind threatened to blow everything away. (Did you know there are apple trees along the Trail?) Then last Sunday the Martha Washington crew gathered more than 60 neighbors at the small park cum orchard on the lake where, again, cider was pressed, cupcakes eaten, and talk revolved around the history of the park and its old apple trees. Coming up: Meadowbrook Harvest Party Oct 7 (6 pm), Beacon Hill Harvest Festival with the Jose Rizal orchard stewards on Oct 22 ( 1 – 9 pm), and the Bradner Gardens Harvest on Oct 30 (2 – 4 pm).

Orchard stewards expanding
Our second grant from the Department of Natural Resources allows us to expand the orchard stewards project to three additional Seattle Parks. Several parks have applied, and we will be meeting on Oct 29, 10:30 – noon, at the Ravenna Eckstein Community Center. Anyone interested in knowing more about the project is welcome.

2011 fruit harvest
The harvest is winding down — wait! apples and grapes are still out there — and we have harvested more than 6000 pounds of fruit in a year we had feared would be worse. A full report on the harvest will come next month, but meanwhile, we will be glad to harvest grapes, apples and quince, so let us know. Contact .

Oct 6 Holy Cross orchard Meaningful Movie: Good Food. Contact Farness, Janet
Oct 7 Meadowbrook Harvest Party, 6 pm. Meadowbrook Community Center
Oct 8 Demystifying Quince cooking class with Amy Pennington, 10 am – noon, Dish It Up! in Ballard
Oct 8 Prune Fruit Trees class, Seattle Tilth, 10 am – noon
Oct 15 Shrubs cooking class with Patricia Eddy, 10 am – noon
Oct 22 Fruit – from Appetizer to Dessert cooking class with Roxanne Vierra, 10 am – noon
Oct 22 Beacon Hill Harvest Festival, 1 – 9 pm, Garden House on Beacon Hill
Oct 23 Seattle Tree Fruit Society Fall Show, 10 am – 3 pm, Cedar Valley Grange
Oct 29 Poaching, Braising and Roasting fruit cooking class with Laurie Pfalzer, 10 am – noon
Oct 29 City Fruit orchard steward kick off meeting, 10:30 am – noon, Ravenna Eckstein Community Center
Oct 30 Bradner Gardens Harvest Festival, 2 – 4 pm, Bradner Gardens

Please join City Fruit. We depend on your memberships and support to fund our harvests, and we’re planning for next year now. And remember to friend us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and read our Blog


Looking for New Board Members

The 2010 harvest season has come to a close and we’re starting to put our thoughts towards 2011. As part of that, we’re looking to recruit some new board members to help us grow the organizations. We’re a fun, active, dedicated board who essentially run the organization, so we’re asking board members to commit 5-10 hours a month.

Some specific skills we’re looking for:

  • Fundraising
  • Volunteer management
  • Marketing/PR
  • Web/Technology
  • Finance

And obviously an interest or knowledge of fruit trees or urban agriculture is helpful.

Here are a few accomplishments from this year:

  • 100+ trees harvested
  • 50+ volunteers
  • 11,000 pounds of fruit harvested & donated
  • 820+ fruit trees mapped across the Seattle area
  • Developed a fruit tree stewardship program with Seattle Parks & the city’s Office of Sustainability

And you can see what we did in 2009 in our Annual Report.

You can learn more at our website, Facebook page, or blog to get a sense for what we do.

How to Apply: If you’re interested, please send your resume and a bit about why you’re interested in our organization to James, Board President, at


Fall Fruit Show Coming Up on Halloween

How are you supporting local fruit this Halloween?  Will you be the household that gives away fruit instead of candy to trick-or-treaters?  Will you dress up your baby in this apple costume?

You could also go to the Seattle Tree Fruit Society Fall Fruit Show, which is on Halloween from 10am-3pm.

Here’s five reasons you should go:

1. Lectures all day about a spectrum of fruit topics, from “Unusual Fruits for the Pacific Northwest” to a lecture from “KiwiBob.”  See the schedule of speakers on the STFS calendar.

2. Got Fruit? Bring your apples in to be identified by experts—a great opportunity if you inherited fruit trees on your property or rental.

3. Want Fruit? Everyone has different preferences for fruit flavor and texture, so don’t just rely on what the nursery catalog says.  Sample varieties at the show before you buy a tree, so that you’re sure to like the varieties you choose to plant.

4. See the Center for Urban Horticulture: Stroll around the gardens when you come to the show.  The gardens include some that are purely aesthetic in purpose and others that are intended as demonstration gardens, where you can view plants and design elements you might include in your own garden.

5. City Fruit will be there along with a lot of other fruit-related organizations and businesses.  We’ll have our fact sheets and other educational resources for growing healthy fruit.

See you on Halloween!


Nice to Meet You!

You may not have heard that City Fruit has recently hired an AmeriCorps member: that’s me!  I’ll be working on City Fruit projects two days a week out of my office at Phinney Neighborhood Center.  Since I’ve started on September 1, I’ve been busy setting up a full schedule of fall classes.

This will be my second AmeriCorps term; my first was at EOS Alliance (that’s Environmental Outreach and Stewardship Alliance).  Among other things, I set up workshops on sustainable living, organized community events, and hosted habitat restoration work parties.  Before EOS, I was an English major at UPS.  As a student, I studied sustainability in Australia and I interned at Tahoma Audubon Society as the newsletter editor.

Here are some more fun facts:

  • I’m originally from Minnesota, where the Honeycrisp apple was developed.
  • My favorite dessert to make: apple pie.
  • My favorite easy dessert to make: poached plums (recipe follows).
  • If I were a bird, I’d be a loon.
  • If you’d like to contact me about City Fruit, my email address is (OK, that wasn’t fun so much as useful).

Easy Poached Plums

Pit and halve 2 plums per person, place in an appropriately sized saucepan, and pour in orange juice to just cover.  Sprinkle with cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves, and sugar (optional).  Simmer until soft.


Amazing judges for upcoming pie contest

Mark your calendars: the annual Festival of Fruit at Piper’s Orchard is just around the corner. The event takes place Sept. 18 from 10 to 2 and features cider making, talks about the history of the orchard, and fruit identification (bring an apple from your tree to find out the variety!). City Fruit, the Seattle Tree Fruit Society and Friend’s of Piper’s Orchard have put together the event.

We’ll also be hosting an apple pie contest–anyone can enter so feel free to bring a pie–and we have some stellar judges lined up. The judges include (in no particular order):

Jon Rowley: Jon is perhaps best known as the man behind the marketing of Copper River salmon. He organizes the Pacific Coast Oyster Wine Competition, which he calls “an annual dating program for West Coast wines and oysters.”

Jon also works with farmers, restaurants and retailers to improve the quality and distribution of fruits and vegetables. He’s a common sight at weekend farmer’s markets, using his refractometer to measure the sugar in fruits.

He’s a pie maker himself, is a contributing editor at Gourmet magazine and is listed in the “Who’s Who of Cooking in America.”

Lorna Yee: Lorna is a fixture of the local food scene. She’s a contributing editor and the “Key Ingredient” columnist for Seattle Magazine.

Lorna recently published her first cookbook, The Newlywed Kitchen: Delicious Meals for Couples Cooking together, and started her popular blog, The Cookbook Chronicles, to showcase recipe testing for the book.

For a taste of Lorna’s style, check out her sour cherry coffee cake with toasted hazelnut and oatmeal streusel recipe. Yum!!

Tracey Bernal: Tracey has worked as a pastry chef and cook at Campagne, Café Septieme, the Palace Kitchen and the Dahlia Bakery. She is currently a gardener in ornamental landscaping, with a particular interest in edible landscaping. She’s got five types of apples in her yard.

Tracey has been a pie judge at past contests at the Festival of Fruit and is active in the Seattle Tree Fruit Society.

Dr. Bob Norton: Bob is the region’s foremost fruit tree expert. Around 1964, Bob started the Washington State University tree fruit research center in Mt. Vernon with the purpose of bringing about a revival of growing tree fruit in western Washington.

Bob has been a judge at previous pie contests at the Festival of Fruit and brings a unique talent to the judging. That’s because he’s one of the few people who can identify some of the many varieties of apples in our region.

In addition to being a judge, Bob will give a talk at 10 a.m. about hard cider making and will help identify fruit that festival attendees bring in from their own trees.

Tell your friend’s and mark your calendars! It should be a fun day.


Get a Free Fruit Tree from the City of Seattle

As part of their Seattle reLeaf program, the City of Seattle is giving away more trees this year — including one variety of fruit tree, the Italian Plum (which is my favorite). The hope is to get 1,000 trees to residents to plant in their yards which will help the city achieve it’s 30% tree canopy goal.

If you live in one of the neighborhoods listed below, you need to get an application in by September 13.  The city is specifically targetting South Seattle neighborhoods this year and the following are eligable to apply:

  • Beacon Hill
  • Columbia City
  • Georgetown
  • Highland Park
  • North Beacon Hill/Jefferson Park
  • Rainier Beach
  • Roxhill/Westwood
  • South Beacon Hill/New Holly
  • South Park
  • Steward Park

There is no need to apply as a group, so individual houses can apply. Trees may be planted along the street or in your yard — keep in mind the fruit tree can’t be planted along the street and needs to go in your yard. There is a limit of 4 per household. The program participants will recieve:

  • Free trees, of course — Available species
  • Watering bags
  • Training on proper tree planting & care
  • One free bag of GroCo compost, made with King County biosolids
  • Helpful tree care tips & reminders

If you don’t happen to live in one of the neighborhoods listed above, you can still get free trees from the city — but time is running out. The Department of Neighborhoods Tree Fund provides free street trees to groups of 5 or more neighbors working together anywhere in Seattle. Groups can request 10 to 40 trees. But the applications are due Monday, August 16 — so get your application in now!


Get a Free Fruit Tree

I’ve seen a few different things going around the web recently about how you can get your hands on a free fruit tree so I thought I’d help share them here with some additional info about caring for trees. Keep in mind that there are strings attached to getting one of these free fruit trees — but in both cases below, it’s that the trees are used for the good of the community. Can hardly argue with that.

The Fruit Tree Planting Foundation

One of my favorite organizations out there is The Fruit Tree Planting Foundation. I’ve written about them previously but as a reminder they are, in their own words:

“… a nonprofit charity dedicated to planting edible, fruitful trees and plants to benefit the environment and all its inhabitants. Our primary mission is to plant and help others plant a collective total of 18 billion fruit trees across the world (approximately 3 for every person alive) and encourage their growth under organic standards.”

In order to help them achieve their 3 fruit trees per person, they’re giving away a ton of fruit trees. They have a couple different ways in which you can get them:

  • Fill out this application (Word Doc) for creating an orchard in your community.
  • Submit a project idea to their Communities Take Root contest(in partnership with Dreyer’s Fruit Bars). Then the community gets to vote on which projects receive free fruit trees.

Seattle Department of Neighborhoods

Sorry non-Seattle folks, this one is strictly for the Seattle residents — but it’s worth checking to see if your city offers a similar program.

The Tree Fund provides trees to neighborhoods to “enhance Seattle’s urban forest”. If you & your neighbors get together you can receive 10-40 trees for your community, as well as one fruit tree for yourself (one per household). Your project must be able to demonstrate the capacity to build a stronger, healthier community.

It’s a great way to get to know your neighbors better and improve your community at the same time. Plus think of all the great fruit you’ll get! Check out all the places that received free trees last year. Seattle is serious about improving our city’s urban tree canopy.

When, Where, and How to Plant?

Seattle’s Tree Fund doesn’t do the planting of trees until the fall, which is the perfect time to plant new trees — the temperature is cooler, they’ll get plenty of water. I’m not sure when you’d get the trees from the Fruit Tree Planting Foundation, but I’d recommend waiting until the summer has passed.

It’s not always easy to know where a fruit tree will do well in a yard — that’s why we’ve put some very useful info up on our website. And don’t forget caring for the fruit tree. It’s not hard, but it does require some know-how and effort. But City Fruit is here to help.

And because I’m a visual learner, I really get the most out of watching someone do something rather than reading about it. For those of you like that out there, here’s a handy video on how to plant a fruit tree.

Now go get yourself & your community some fruit trees and start helping build your city’s urban orchard with a great local food source.