From Community Harvest: Fruit – and orchard-design help – needed!

Two items from Aviva at Community Harvest of Southwest Seattle: First, she says, “It really has been an off year for the fruit trees here in West Seattle. We have only harvested about 300 pounds of fruit and it seems that none of the Italian Plums have fruit. We could use … Asian pears, pears, and apples.” Contact info’s at if you have tree fruit to donate – you donate, they pick! Second – the new Community Orchard at South Seattle Community College, funded by a city grant, is getting off the ground with the Design Group’s first meeting ahead, and Aviva says, “We’d love to get (more of the) community involved in this cool new project.” Read on to see how you can be part of it!

Aviva’s orchard update:

As you may have heard, the Community Orchard of West Seattle (COWS) is a GO! We have received funding from the Seattle Dept of Neighborhoods and it is time to start the planning.

Fruit trees take a while to mature, but in the meantime we will be holding classes, preparing the land, and very importantly: creating our orchard community. Would you like to be part of this Orchard Community? There will be many ways to be involved. Some of the most fun work will be done by the planting design workgroup. We are scheduling a first meeting for that group. If you are interested click on this link for the Doodle poll and let us know your availability. If none of these times work, please feel free to suggest a couple more within the next several weeks. We will be scheduling more times to get together and come up with a community vision for the orchard.

10 Replies to "From Community Harvest: Fruit - and orchard-design help - needed!"

  • coffee September 1, 2010 (8:09 am)

    My fruit trees did the worst since I moved into my house in 2004. I have no fruit for the first time! Any ideas why this happened this year? In 1 week in July every apple dropped off my tree, they were all about 2 inches big.

  • Silly Goose September 1, 2010 (8:27 am)

    I was told it is a shortage of bee’s due to the mold that invaded many hives and also sounds like you didn’t give your tree’s enough water. I realize that the first week of July we were getting alot of rain but I still soaked my Granny Smith apple tree weekly and thinned out the smaller apples and this is the best year yet, lots of beautiful apples!!

  • Diane September 1, 2010 (8:28 am)

    I had plenty of golden plums this year and contacted Community Harvest several times starting in late June to get this set-up. They never made it. I was sad not to be able to share them.

  • NT September 1, 2010 (8:33 am)

    My friend (who also has an Italian plum) and I have a theory about a big old windstorm that hit right while our trees were blossoming and blew all the flowers off … maybe that adversely affected our production this year? Our tree has been dripping with fruit in years past.

  • Jeff September 1, 2010 (9:33 am)

    My plum tree is also having a WAY down year in production. Just starting to get a few now, but I bet its less than a quarter of last year’s yield.

    On the upside, the starlings have not demolished my figs yet this year, so I guess you win some and you lose some.

  • Sara September 1, 2010 (10:21 am)

    Sorry Diane that we weren’t able to harvest your golden plums! We are proud to be volunteer run but this does leave us susceptible to people’s schedules. Hopefully next year! On that note, if people are interested in volunteering, contact our harvest coordinator at

  • CurlyQ September 1, 2010 (12:31 pm)

    I put out a notice in our neighborhood seeking fruit to harvest and make into jam (returning the favor with a jar or two). Those who replied said they’re also having down years on their trees after enormous yields last year. I know that fruit trees have off and on years, but is it common for so many trees to have a down year all at the same time?
    As for honey bees, I’ve seen tons of them humming around my russian sage, oregano and lavendar plants–of which I have copious amounts–so I have my doubts about a bee shortage. But I’m the first to admit I’m a novice at a lot of this stuff.

  • mallett arbor September 1, 2010 (1:43 pm)

    I agree with the theory of the June rain/wind damaging or making the flowers unattractive.

  • Jill September 2, 2010 (9:52 pm)

    For people with fruit tree questions, check out the City Fruit blog which has a q&a feature with fruit growing experts:

  • Aviva September 3, 2010 (10:01 pm)

    Following up on the original topic of this message – we will be having the first meeting for the Community Orchard of West Seattle on Sunday – 10:30-noon at Duwamish co-housing – 6000 17th SW. Come and share your ideas about the orchard!
    Questions – 206-200-2107.
    Can’t make it, but interested? Send me an email to get put on the list for future announcements.

    AND…I’ve seen some lovely pear trees in the neighborhoods…let us know if you have a surplus!

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