Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Jun26

The cherries are coming!

photo (1)In my opening New to Fruit Trees blog, I said I was disappointed not to find a single fruit tree in my yard after moving to Seattle from Washington, DC. Not so fast. Let’s call this my second #fruitfail.  Not one, or two, but five — I have five cherry trees in my yard.  Seattle is truly an urban orchard. (To be fair, at the time, no cherries were growing!)

For help identifying our trees, I was able to call on one of City Fruit’s many experts. Laila Suidan, a trained arborist, taught me about each type of tree (and plant) in our yard and provided instruction on care and maintenance. Among other things, she taught me that many fruit trees, including cherry trees, have identifying lenticels on their bark.

City Fruit will soon launch a set of residential services, including connection to experts that can help identify and assess your fruit trees and assist in tree care and management. If you’re interested, please email info@cityfruit.org and we’ll send you more information. 

I’m looking forward to our first harvest of cherries this week! If you aren’t lucky enough to have cherry trees in your backyard, make sure to sign up for Collins Orchards CSA. Deliveries started June 25th, but you can sign-up at anytime.  The first few weeks of the CSA will include Early Robin Rainier cherries.


 

City Fruit members receive a 10% discount on the CSA! Join City Fruit Today — members may request the discount code by email.


 

Catherine Morrison is the executive director of City Fruit.  Follow her blog series and send your New to Fruit Tree questions to info@cityfruit.org

 

 

Jul26

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! www.50northrestaurant.com

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 www.50northrestaurant.com. 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!

Mar12

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 info@cityfruit.org and we will send you the room information.

Dec01

Washington: Red Raspberry Capitol of U.S.

Washington is well-known for it’s apple production (about 42% of all apples in U.S.), especially in the eastern part of the state. Washington Apples are famous and enjoyed all over the U.S. and the world. But red raspberries?

I knew that a lot of fruit was grown in Seattle’s surrounding counties, but it seems that Whatcom County produces over 95% of all the red raspberries in the U.S.  It seems that the long spring, mild summer, and bountiful rain that we get are the ideal conditions for growing this tasty fruit.

According to the article, more than 20 different varieties are grown here on more than 6,000 acres dedicated just to the red fruit. 2009 was a record breaking year for raspberry production and it seems that 2010 wasn’t so bad either. And the relative affordability of the land allows for farmers to continue to make a living off of growing & selling red raspberries.

I head up north to farm country several times a year — just kind of a fun excursion from Seattle — but I had no idea there were several raspberry festivals each year. The big one seems to be in Lynden, that also includes a street market, classic car show, farm tours, etc. I’m definitely going to head up there next year. And to whet your appetite for what it’s like, below is a video about the festival that also highlights some of the local raspberry farms.


Nov12

Fruit Tree Stewards Off & Running

We just got these photos from one of our new fruit tree stewards as part of a project we’re running in partnership with the City of Seattle’s Office of Sustainability and Seattle Parks & Recreation. I’ve written about it before and you can learn more here.

These particular photos are from the fruit trees along the Burke-Gilman trail — have you seen them? This group, led by Barb Burrill (she also provided the photos), is taking care of them — they even got some fairly worm-free apples!

So far the project is going great. A big thanks to Gail Savina, Jana Dilley, and Becca Fong for making this project happen.

Check out the photos below.

A big apple tree along the Burke-Gilman.

The volunteer work party. Thanks for all your hard work! The sign looks great.

One of our Fruit Tree Steward’s son lending a hand.

Nov01

A Food Forest in Jefferson Park

What could be better than a forest full of food?  What if it was also a community garden in a city park?

At Jefferson Park in Beacon Hill, this idea is becoming a reality as community members plan a “food forest” to be designed, built, and maintained by community members.

A food forest is a permaculture land-management technique that’s designed to work like a forest ecosystem, but incorporates edible plants to be harvested.  Unlike annual vegetable gardens, a food forest is planted with mostly perennials or self-seeding annuals, so it produces a high yield for low effort after the first few years of establishment.  The plantings are designed to work together in a small ecosystem, with closed loops like leaf litter that becomes compost, or companion plants to ward off pests and attract pollinators.  Just like a natural forest, a food forest has groundcover (like strawberries or dewberry), an understory (like evergreen huckleberry or Egyptian walking onions), and a canopy (fruit and nut trees).  Can you see why we’re excited about this at City Fruit?

At Jefferson Park, community members plan to create a food forest in the sloping southwest corner of the park.  It would incorporate some p-patch beds and plenty of edible plantings in the forest.  Their next meeting is Thursday, November 18 at 6 pm in the Beacon Hill Library; they’d love input of all kinds, so even if you can’t be a dedicated volunteer, you can contribute your ideas and expertise.  Check out their website, where you can also contact the group.

Oct21

Save the Carkeek Park Environmental Learning Center

We’re good friends with the Friends of Piper’s Orchard, big fans of the orchard there, and love Carkeek Park. Because of that I wanted to pass on some information from Timothy Cox, Treasurer of the Carkeek Park Advisory Council (CPAC), about the potential closure of the park’s Environmental Learning Center and lay-offs for its staff – the mayor has a $67 million deficit he’s dealing with for 2011. Overall there are about $10 million in cuts to Seattle Parks & Recreation.

A couple ways you can help:

Meetings

Please make your voice heard at one of these two upcoming meetings.

  • CPAC will be holding its next monthly meeting on Monday, 10/25 at 7:00PM at the ELC.
  • City Council is holding a budget review meeting Tuesday, 10/26 at Seattle City Hall at 5:30PM.

Online

If you can’t make one of the meetings, the City Council is also looking for feedback on their 2011-2012 budget priorities. There is a simple form to fill out here: http://www.seattle.gov/council/budget/budget_form.htm.

Oct12

Photos: Washington Wine Country

Washington State is the home of over 650 winerieseleven AVA’s or designated appellations, and 350 grape growers. The Yakima Valley was the first federally recognised AVA.  The Yakima Valley is also home to the Yakama Nation.  This last weekend, I accompanied the wine maker/owner of :Nota Bene to the Yakima Valley to pick up bins filled with grapes-just-picked and drop off bins for grapes-to-be-picked and also for bins ready for next year.  We drove 700 miles, fourteen hours, six vineyards, and brought back 12 bins of beautiful grapes (this was trip three for wine maker Tim Narby; three left to go!).  The vineyards we visited were: Stone Tree Vineyards, Stillwater Vineyards, Ciel du Cheval, Champoux, Dineen Family Vineyards, and Red Willow Vineyards.

View from Stillwater picnic area

Champoux Vineyard:  netting to keep birds away

Ciel du Cheval, stop # 3, loading the grapes

Boxes ready for filling.  Champoux Vineyards
Oct06

Fruit Trees in Parks

I wrote about our Urban Orchard Stewardship program in partnership with the City of Seattle’s Office of Sustainability and Seattle Parks & Recreation. We’ve been working for the past few months and have selected the parks we’re piloting this year:

Volunteers from each part are beginning to meet with Seattle Parks gardeners to start to think about a plan for the park’s fruit trees. Using those plans, City Fruit will develop & supply training to provide the necessary skills and advice. These plans will start to come together around the end of October.

We’ll share more as we progress along.

If you want to learn more or help with any of these parks, please e-mail Gail at info@cityfruit.org.

Aug19

Orchards with Renewable Energy

A few stories have caught my eye recently about farmers taking advantage of new legislation and government grants in order to reduce their carbon footprint by building up their renewable energy resources. Some legislators are even exploring ways to build renewable energy in to farm bills to provide a more holistic benefit to farmers.

Carlson Orchards – Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative

I’m kind of a Scientific American junkie and so the first piece that caught my eye was in there. It’s about how one of the largest orchards in Massachusetts is benefiting from that state’s cap & trade auctions. Carlson Orchards is cutting their electricity bill by 80% with the help of grants from the state of Massachusetts that helped with the installation of 1,050 solar photovoltaic panels.

Massachusetts got the money from a 10-state cap & trade program called Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI). Through this, the states set a carbon emissions cap and then earn revenue when companies buy additional credits. So far the combined 10 states have earned over $400 million dollars ($106 for MA) that they then re-invest in renewable energy programs.

And Carlson Orchards is taking advantage of that. In addition to growing apples and making apple cider, that orchard is reducing its footprint and electricity bill.

Clark Family Orchards – Rural Energy for America Program

Similarly, in Colorado, a fifth-generation farmer is taking advantage of a program that was in the 2008 Farm Bill called the Rural Energy for America Program to cover about 25% of his costs to install solar panels that will offset about 55,000 kilowatt hours of electricity yearly.

A bit about the REAP program from their website:

“REAP offers grants and/or loan guarantees for the purchase and installation of renewable energy generating systems and for energy efficiency improvements.  Assistance is limited to small businesses and farmers & ranchers.  Projects must be located in a rural area.  REAP grants and guarantees may be used individually or in combination.  Together they may finance up to 75% of a project’s cost.  Grants can finance up to 25% of project cost, not to exceed $500,000 for renewables, $250,000 for efficiency.  There are also REAP grants to help pay for technical assistance on energy projects.”

With the energy costs continually going up, the solar panels going on the packing shed will save him about $4,500 a year.

Dennis Clark grows cherries, apples, peaches, pears, and plums on the orchard and now with the help of solar panels he’s also saving more than 116,000 pounds of carbon dioxide from entering the earth’s atmosphere.

The Next Farm Bill

As more and more farmers take advantage of incentives and grants to create renewable energy, legislators are looking at how the existing programs are doing and thinking about how future farm bills might be written to increasingly encourage renewable energy use on farms and in rural communities. The next farm bill is still 3 years away, but that’s not stopping folks from thinking about it now.

U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand recently visited several New York farms, to better understand their needs — including those around renewable energy. She’s on the agriculture committee and so has a vested interest in making sure the next farm bill works for New York farmers — and presumably farmers across the country.

Let’s hope more senators take the time to get out there, talk to farmers, and create the next bill that really helps farmers not only produce great fruits, vegetables, and livestock, but also empowers them to reduce their carbon footprint and leverage more renewable energy.

Aug12

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!

Aug10

Someone mentioned greengages….

This article appeared in this last weekend’s Financial Times of London’s Weekend. It has interesting news about fruit in another part of the world and some great recipes.

The fruits of a long hot summer
By Peter Gordon

Published: August 7 2010 00:39 | Last updated: August 7 2010 00:39

August is a lovely month in the kitchen as the summer heat ripens blackberries and bilberries, apricots, greengages and plums, as well as tomatoes, peppers and aubergines. The flavours tend towards the sweet and rich – whether it be hedgerow fruit or the slight bitterness of rich purple aubergines. Lightly cooked and lightly handled is my motto at this time.

I am on a brief trip to New Zealand and was reading in the newspapers that the relentless summer heat in Italy has cut the tomato crop there by 20 per cent. This is terrible news for the Italians – with their dairy production dropping at a similar rate, will mozzarella and tomato salad soon seem a luxury?

But in Britain and northern Europe, the hot summer has tomato vines bursting at the seams and brambles dripping with juice. Next weekend brings the start of the British game season, so before grouse starts to make itself regularly known on your table, make the most of the last of the summer goodies.

Peter Gordon is the chef at Providores in London, www.theprovidores.co.uk

…………………………………………..

Tomato and aubergine salad

This is great served under pan-fried mackerel fillets or with a poached chicken breast – just add a lemon wedge and salad greens. Serves four.

Ingredients

6-8 large vine-ripened tomatoes

2 shallots, peeled and thinly sliced into rings

The juice of 1 large lemon (you may need more)

1 aubergine

1 large handful flat parsley leaves

1 handful basil leaves

4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Method

● Score the tomatoes with a cross in the stem end and plunge into boiling water for 15 seconds, then in iced water. Peel the skin from them, cut into very thin wedges and mix with the shallots and lemon juice.

● Cut the stem from the aubergine and slice lengthwise 1cm thick. Brush with vegetable oil and griddle or pan-fry until coloured and softened. Cut crossways into “fingers” and mix into the tomato.

● Add the parsley, basil and olive oil and season. It may need more lemon juice. Leave for one to two hours, stir and it’s ready.

…………………………………………..

Greengage and blackberry fool

Greengages are a subtle but richly flavoured relative to the plum, and they’ve been making a revival in recent years. They’re lovely poached and bottled for winter crumbles, or split, stones removed, and frozen on trays for adding at the last minute to chicken and pumpkin curry, or even lightly pickled with ginger and cloves to be served with cold meats at Christmas. In summer, it is best to cook them gently and fold them into a custard-rich fool with a juicy blackberry topping. Serves six to eight.

Ingredients

400g greengages: remove stems and wipe with a damp cloth

120g unrefined caster sugar

¼ vanilla bean, split lengthways

300ml milk

3 egg yolks

300g blackberries

2 tbsp icing sugar

400ml double cream

Method

● Place the greengages in a pot with half the sugar and a few tablespoons of water and bring to a simmer. Put the lid on and slowly cook until they’ve burst from their skins and the mixture becomes pulpy – stir frequently.

● Make your custard by bringing the remaining sugar, the vanilla and milk to a simmer. Whisk the egg yolks until foamy then whisk in half the hot milk mixture. Return to pan and cook over moderate heat, stirring until it coats the back of a spoon. Tip into a clean bowl and gently whisk for 20 seconds to help cool it. Cool, then chill in the fridge.

● Remove the stones from the cooled fruit and put in the fridge. Mix together the blackberries and icing sugar and place in the fridge.

● An hour before you want to eat the fool, lightly whip the cream to soft peaks. Beat in the cold custard until firmer peaks, then fold in the fruit, rippling it in. Place in a bowl – a glass one is best – and drizzle the blackberries on top. Top with toasted almonds or pistachios.

Jul28

Spotted Wing Drosophila

SWDA New Pest in Town

We’ve made reference to it previously, but more and more we’re getting reports of the Spotted Wing Drosophila (SWD) being in WA state — both out east in the orchards and here in the city. It’s kind of a big deal as it’s a new pest and so there are still a lot of experiments with how to deal with it. And it’s attacking soft fruit (peaches, berries, etc.), which have previously escaped things like the Apple Maggot Fly and Coddling Moth. More and more we’re finding it necessary to undertake pest prevention methods for all kinds of fruit.

About Spotted Wing Drosophila (SWD)

The pest is originally from Asia, but has made its way up to Washington from California — it’s rapidly spreading from state-to-state. They are closely resemble the common vinegar fly but the difference is instead of attacking rotting fruit, the SWD attacks perfectly healthy fruit. It was really first seen around Japan and other parts of Asia in the 1930s. The way it works is that females search for soft fruit, land on the fruit, and then lay their eggs — laying as many as 300 eggs in their lifespan and up to 13 generations per season. The larvae then grow inside of the fruit.

University of California has this helpful resource to see photos of the life cycle of the SWD and its impact on fruit.

The economic impact could be somewhat significant for soft fruit and would vary by region. But not enough research has been done to provide an accurate estimate.

Treatment

We only recommend non-chemical ways at managing existing SWD infestations. If only some fruit is infested, the best approach is to harvest & sort the crop immediately — separating the good from the bad. And to help reduce the number of SWD in the future, we suggest placing infested fruit in a sturdy, sealed plastic bag and dispose of it in the trash. Also, be sure to remove any fruit that has fallen on the ground and any infested fruit remaining on the plants. But do not compost! This will not kill the insects.

Prevention

As this is somewhat of a new pest to the U.S., there are a lot of tests going on as to the best method to prevent SWD infestations and protect vulnerable fruit. Oregon State University has a great resource for backyard growers. The best known approaches so far….

  • Traps: There are a number of different types of traps people are trying, but below is a video for one in particular. These will not only help you capture SWDs, but also monitor how many are in your area.

  • Netting: A few places have suggested setting up netting over your soft fruit plans and trees prior to the fruit developing.
  • Habitat & Varieties: One way to prevent the SWD is by selecting thick-skinned fruit varieties that are more resistant to the pests. Also, to modify any other plants you have in your yard that might attract the SWD — thus making it less likely that they’ll find your habitat attractive.

So keep an eye out for this pest. We’ve already heard from folks about it attacking their raspberries and currants. If you find it in your backyard, definitely drop us a line (info@cityfruit.org) — we’d love to better understand how and where this infestation is happening so we can help work to manage it better.

Jul06

Disaster Relief for WA Farms

Previously, I wrote about how the FDA designated several WA counties as disaster areas because of the crazy weather we’ve been having and today I see that Governor Christine Gregoire is touring the area as part of her “Feed Washington” tour. Because of the damage she’s seen she’s asking the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture to declare 29 counties farm disaster areas — making them eligible for federal assistance.

All this rain and cooler temperatures are wreaking havoc on everything from hay (which is primarily exported to Japan) to cherries. It’s not just the weather, but also the horrible economic climate that’s also really hurting farmers (and everyone else, for that matter).

One of the ideas that Gov. Gregoire mentioned, I half agree with. From MSNBC:

The governor explained that she has seen the demand for Washington fruit like cherries on recent trips to Asia. She believes helping fruit growers tap those markets will get the state out of tough economic times.

“If we do that, we’ll find our way out of this recession,” said Gregoire. “That’s the road to recovery for us.”

From what I read, more cherries are already heading to Japan. And while I like the intention that demand for WA state fruit can help farmers find their way out of the recession, I’m not sure about exporting that fruit — and not sure how that fits in to Feed Washington. I would think there’s plenty of demand for fresh fruit from right here in WA state and that a push for buying locally produced fruit & veg would be a better way to go.

This weather is making us a bit nervous as well — not sure what kind of crop we’ll get here in the city. Plums, by most accounts, are having a bad year after having a record year last year. Cherries seem to be coming in ok, though. What I’m really curious about is how the apple crop will be. Historically Seattle apples are pretty unusable due to the apple maggots, but we’ve seen little evidence of those buggers so far.

Jun22

An Amazing Trellis

My wife, Nancy, who is also on the City Fruit board, was at a Friends of Piper Orchard meeting the other night and learned about this amazing trellis. Andy Zaborski is a Viticulture/Winemaking Certificate graduate from South Seattle Community College (SSCC) who planted  several varieties of grapes at Piper’s Orchard, all of which were in the Pacific Northwest during the time of the orchard’s original planting.

Now Andy’s hoping to build this cool trellis at Piper’s Orchard that he’s already installed down at SSCC. From his own words:

“The grape trellis at South Seattle Community College was conceived in order to support the vines and shoots, without requiring regular adjustment of the wires’ tension due to loading by the plants’ branches and fruit, or due to thermal expansion/contraction.  A basket of rocks at one end-post is supported by one end of the cable array which serpentines across the span of 4 posts over a series of brass roller pulleys.  The cable is fixed via a turnbuckle at its other end.  The cable’s lowest span supports a drip-irrigation line, the 42-inch high span supports the vines’ branches, and the remaining 2 spans serve as catch-wires for supporting the vines’ shoots.”

I’ve included a couple of photos Andy sent along to better show what he describes above. You can see the trellis to the right with the basket holding rocks to keep the line tight.

His plans for the Piper Orchard are similar and has the same historical link to when the orchard was first planted. I, for one, can’t wait to see it in person. I might just head down to SSCC this weekend.

Nicely done Andy (picture to the right with his kids)!

Jun17

What kind of crop can we expect?

I’m getting excited about the upcoming harvest. This time of year is always bubbling with anticipation as we gear up for another harvest — recruiting volunteers, identifying tree owners who have excess fruit, etc. And as part of that I always wonder what kind of crop we’ll get this year. Last year, we had a record amount of plums. What will it be this year?

Things don’t look so good  in Michigan — at least not beyond a good blueberry production. Looks like the apple crop will be down 53% due mainly to early spring warm weather followed by cold. They’re expecting a lower-than-normal cherry crop as well. And even though New Hampshire had similar conditions (including a frost May 10), they anticipate a good apple harvest.

Since we had similar conditions here in Washington, I was wondering if we’re in for a similar trend. Like everything, the answer isn’t quite cut & dry.

From the same article about Michigan, there’s a reference that Washington apple crop should actually grow this year — 140 million bushels estimated, up from 132 last year. But I just read that several WA counties were designated “natural disaster areas” by the USDA because of how the weather impacted the apple & cherry crops. This allows farmers access to emergency loans to help them offset the cost of losses due to the weather. Although, if you read this from Fruitnet.com, it sounds like there’s a strong crop of cherry’s ready to go.

Getting a read on what the Seattle harvest will be like is even more difficult so it may just be a case of wait-and-see. Our pear trees are producing less than they did in 2009 — but they had a huge crop last year, so that’s kind of expected. I guess we won’t fully know until we start harvesting. We should start on the cherries, red plums, and transparent apples in July — so we’ll have a much better sense then.

And just to get you in the mood for the upcoming harvest season, which kicks off pretty much with cherries, here’s a video that tells you the proper way to harvest cherries:


Jun15

Visit the International Banana Museum

Screenshot from International Banana Club website

Saw this story today in the Seattle Times (actually ran yesterday) about a guy who is helping revive the International Banana Museum– which the Guinness Book of World Records apparently refers to as “largest museum on Earth dedicated to a single fruit.” 

It found itself without a home and all the 17,000 banana-related pieces that Ken “The Bananister” Bannister has collected over the years were stashed in Ken’s garage. Fred Garbutt, who’s family owned a liquor store, bought the memorabilia and is re-opening the museum in the pub next to the store in North Shore, California.

Lest you be jealous of California for their new museum, we have one right here in Washington. I haven’t been, but next time I’m anywhere near Auburn, I’m going to swing by and check it out.

Here’s The Bannanister talking all about bananas & his museum:


And just so you don’t think there are only fruit fans out there, there are a few dedicated to various vegetables. Take the carrot. It has both a virtual and a brick-and-mortar, as they say, museum. The collector also runs this B&B it seems.

So join me in eating a banana  today celebration of the International Banana Museum’s revival.

May12

City food gardens also grow communitarians

Great story on KUOW on a set of neighbours who found friendship and community over tomatoes.

May05

Great News in the News!

Two radio shows caught my ears today and got the urbanist in me all excited! The first one describes taking urban agriculture and city orchards to a new level, there is a group in London that has created The Urban Wine Company. Just as City Fruit is creating an urban orchard, they are creating an urban vineyard. As cities like London are getting to be warmer and warmer, there are better chances of successfully growing decent for wine making. This March was the debut of Chateau Tooting! Here in Seattle, we have a lot of wonderful winemakers, but the majority of them get their grapes from Washington State’s fabulous grape growing regions.

The second story was on PRI’s The World and talked about Ottawa’s urban farmers..

Check out both these stories: they are energizing.

May05

Follow us on Twitter

A lot of great stuff going on over on Twitter for City Fruit. We’ve just reached 301 visitors! Big milestone for us.

Our Twitter feed also got a great plug from Amy Pennington (gogogreengarden.com, food writer, edible gardener, etc.) in Seattle Met Magazine. When asked about her 3 favorite local tweeters, we were mentioned:

@cityfruit: awesome and timely advice on adding fruit and fruit trees to your landscaping;”

Congrats out to Nancy, City Fruit’s tweeter, for all her hard work here.

Follow us today!