I volunteer for the City of Bellevue as a Neighborhood Liaison, and was recently contacted by a local church with an idea they had for the Neighborhood Enhancement Program (NEP). Part of the church’s property is an old orchard from one of the original farms in Bellevue. They wanted to know if the City of Bellevue could partner with them using NEP funds to recondition their orchard, and then the Church would provide the fruit to the local food banks. Since the orchard is not on public property it does not qualify for money from NEP. Nevertheless it does seem like a great idea. The local food-banks get a lot of canned and dry goods but not so much fruit, especially organically grown fresh apples, which fetch a premium price on the market. The church’s congregation is elderly, and is not physically able to maintain the orchard themselves which is why they are requesting help. Although, the STFS’s primarily mission is to provide education, I thought this may be a project that members of the STFS may wish to support and donate some time to. Lorine Brakken, went out on a Saturday to look at the orchard and said the trees are healthy, but are large, as most old orchard trees are. There are a number of ways members of the STFS, with their special skill set, could help: pruning, and perhaps grafting new disease resistant varieties are a possibility. Also, it could be the church would elect to replace the old trees, with modern varieties on dwarf root stocks which are easier to maintain. While none of the above is currently planned, the church does have an immediate need for which they are requesting help. They have asked for a maggot barrier workshop. We will teach the congregation how to put on “footies”, and work several hours installing them. Since these are large trees, anyone with an orchard ladder is encouraged to bring it. The “footie” work part will begin at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday the 22nd of May. Come have some fun, and do something good for the community! Anyone willing to donate a few hours for a public service project please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Maggot Barrier Workshop
When: May 22nd, Saturday
Time: 9am Lecture, 10am Footie Party Begins! A piece of apple by and a beverage for the volunteers!
Location: Holy Cross Lutheran Church Orchard, 4315 129th Pl. SE, Bellevue, WA 98006
Learn: How to apply Surround to the Maggot Barriers, how the Maggot Barriers work, lifecycles of apple pests, and how to apply them to the fruit
Experience: Hands on Surround application to MB’s and orchard application of footies to the trees
Bring: Ladder for working in the trees (if you have one), sack lunch, water