Author Article Archive - Tonia Lordy

2017 All About Fruit Show

On Saturday and Sunday, October 21st and 22nd, the All About Fruit Show takes place at the Clackamas County Fairgrounds in Canby, Oregon. We are in the main pavilion, with parking right across the street. Hours are 10am to 4pm. Admission for HOS members is $5 per person, $10 per family. For non-members, the admission is $7 per person and $12 per family. Admission is free if you are new member joining that day. Tell your friends its a great bargain.

Displayed for tasting are hundreds of different varieties of apples, and pears, plus grapes, kiwi, and other selections. It’s a good opportunity to choose the fruits to grow in your own yard. Select the ones that taste the best and then go to the “Make a Tree” table and order trees to be custom grafted for pickup in the spring. Most heirloom varieties are not available for purchase at your local nursery, so this is your opportunity to grow fruit “the likes of which” you’ll never find in a grocery store.

Our panel of experts will be available to answer all manner of questions about fruit growing. They have decades of experience and are happy to share their knowledge. Look for the “Information” sign; they’ll be looking for you.

Lowell Cordas, the tool man, will have untold numbers of gardening and orcharding tools available for purchase. Check out his booth. He has excellent quality merchandise. he will also have his sharpening equipment set up, so bring your pruners, loppers, knives, etc., and for a modest price, get them sharpened and ready to make the perfect cut!

Don’t miss the “Identification” corner. If you have an unknown apple tree in your yard or orchard, bring some samples of the tree to the ID folks and they will try to determine its identity. the guidelines for successful apple ID are as follows:
Bring 5 or 6 good samples from each tree
Do NOT wash or polish the fruit
Leave the stem on the apple
Bring a few leaf samples
Make a map with the tree location
Keep your samples in the refrigerator if it will be more than a few days between picking time and show time
Make a note of the date of picking
It’s helpful if you have information about the age of the tree. For example, was the house built in the 1970’s and the tree planted at that time? Is it an old orchard that was planted in the early 1900s? These are questions and answers needed to put the tree in its correct era.

One Green World Nursery will have a large display of trees, shrubs and small fruits available for purchase. Their knowledgeable staff will be happy to tell you about some of the more unusual fruits you can grow in your own yard.

The Home Orchard Society Arboretum will have fruit for sale, as well as empty mason bee tubes and fruit socks. Our Arboretum manager, Tonia Lordy, will be happy to answer questions and share hints on growing the best fruit. She also has HOS hats and T-shirts for sale. (You’ll look good sporting the HOS logo!)

Two local vendors will be offering samples of honey and cheese. Be sure to stop by their booths. And when you are ready for a break, check out our Lunch Lady area. She has coffee, soft drinks, hot lunches, cookies, and snacks, as well as a place to sit and enjoy.

The All About Fruit Show is a great family event. There are good things to taste, new things to learn, and questions that can be answered. It’s an overall great experience!

Join us on October 21st and 22nd.

Speaker Schedule for All About Fruit Show

11:00am- Glen Andresen, Honey Bees in the Orchard
12:30pm- Jim Oliphant, Small Fruit in the Orchard
2:00pm- Joseph Postman, New Apples, Pears, and Quince

11:00am- Jim Gilbert, Unique Fruit Varieties for the Pacific Northwest
12:30pm- John Saltveit, Mixing Other Edibles in Your Orchard

Fall Events

Lots of stuff happening around the Home Orchard Society community these days. Fall is that time of year when we invite the community out to the arboretum to help pick up wind fall and press cider. This year we are hosting a Fall Plant sale, which is a new fundraiser for us…we’ll have a few choice apples trees for sale and some other odds and ends. Our coolers are loaded down with fruit that we sell every Tuesday and Saturday from 9-3pm; and lets not forget our yearly tradition…the All About Fruit Show, one of North Americas largest fruit tasting event.

Stay posted to the events calendar on this web-site for details and dates. Looking forward to seeing all your lovely faces.

Happy Harvesting!

Tonia Lordy
HOS Arboretum Manager

Annual Potluck Luncheon

This Saturday, August 5th, we have a free event at the HOS Arboretum in Oregon City.

From 9:00 am until 11:00, join HOS members for a free bud grafting class that will teach you the basics of summer fruit tree grafting. Bring your hand pruners and a sharp knife if you have one.

At 11:00 am HOS members will demonstrate summer pruning techniques using various trees and espaliers in the Arboretum collection as your tree supply.

We’ll taste summer fruits gathered from around the Willamette Valley from noon until 12:30 pm. Bring your berries, early apples, plums and figs!

At 12:30 pm we will sit down together for a great potluck meal. Bring a dish to share and you own plates and utensils, and a picnic blanket or your favorite folding chair.

The Arboretum is located on the Clackamas Community College campus in Oregon City (19600 Molalla Ave.). Once you are on campus follow the signs to the BROWN parking lot.


Metro Community Enhancement Grant 2016/17

A lot of work has been accomplished around the HOS arboretum this past year, thanks to Oregon City and Metro and their Community Enhancement Grant program. We would not have been able to get all of the work done if it hadn’t been for all of our wonderful volunteers!!!

Thank you all so much!

Metro Grant 2017

Show your support for the Home Orchard Society

Over the past 40 some years the Home Orchard Society has touched the lives of thousands of fruit growing enthusiasts. We have shared scions, stories, experience and advice with hobbiest from across the globe. We love what we do and want to continue fulfilling our mission of promoting the science, culture and pleasure of growing fruit at home via educational outreach and assistance.


There are many ways to help support the HOS:
Become a Home Orchard Society member
Join our Community Orchard program
Order Mason Bees
Fruit Socks
Volunteer at the Arboretum
Buy plants or fruit from the Arboretum
Take a class…or teach one
Get involved at a higher level by expressing interest in our board or joining a committee
DONATE…all donations are tax deductible

Thank you all for supporting us over the years. We look forward to many more years of sharing our love of growing fruit with others. If you have any ideas or suggestions that you feel would be helpful, please reach out…we love hearing from our fans!

Happy fruit growing to you all!

Join us for the 42nd Annual Fruit Propagation Fair

It’s that time of year again! Our volunteers have been busy all winter long harvesting hundreds of varieties of scion wood and propagation material from orchards all over the PNW. We want to share them with you!

Sunday March 19th

Clackamas County Fairgrounds, Main Pavilion
694 NE 4th Ave. Canby OR 97013

FREE with entry- hundreds of varieties of scion wood PLUS cuttings of grapes, kiwi, and figs!

We have a limited selection of pear, cherry, plum, and persimmon.

We will have rootstock, plants, books, mason bee supplies,and fruit socks for sale.

HOS experts will be there to answer all of your fruit growing questions and our grafting experts will be there for all of your custom grafting needs.

-$5 for members (family $10)
-$7 for non-members (family $12)
-Free entry if your join HOS at the show!
-Free entry for volunteers. Contact Jacqueline Freeman at:

As always, we look forward to seeing all of you!

2018 Community Orchard kick off!!!

“At a time of unprecedented alienation from nature and knowledge about where our food comes from, Community Orchards are reviving interest in fruit growing. They provide a way to share knowledge and horticultural skills and stimulate us into growing our food again. In the face of climate change, the need to reduce food miles makes the provision of locally grown food ever more urgent Community Orchards can offer places for quiet contemplation and [centers] for local festivities; they act as carbon sinks, reservoirs for local varieties of fruit, and refuges for all manner of [wildlife].” – (King, Angela and Sue Clifford. 2008. Community Orchards Handbook. Common Ground, Dorset, England.)

In 2016 the Home Orchard Society received an Oregon City/Metro Community Enhancement grant for our Community Orchard Initiative project. The Community Orchard Initiative was selected as a way to broaden awareness of the orchard and encourage participation and involvement. Establishing a community orchard in Oregon City will increase access to locally grown organic fruit for households of varying socioeconomic backgrounds. Excess produce from the orchard will be donated to food banks and organizations serving low income residents within Oregon City limits. Everyone involved in our programs will gain hands-on training and education focusing on nutrition, organic food production / gardening and environmental stewardship. In addition, we provide a sense of community and teamwork by providing a family friendly, recreational outlet enriching all of our lives.

• Free entry to all arboretum “workshops”
• Fresh fruit from our orchard throughout our harvest season (May-November)
• Hands-on organic gardening and orcharding experience
• Exercise benefits the mind and body
• Access to propagation material from many differing plant species
• Access to fresh medicinal and culinary herbs that are grown in the orchard
• New friends

*There are no residency requirements, which means you don’t have to live in Oregon City to participate!

Cost of participation:
• $75 fee per year
• 45 hours of service work per year

Contact our Arboretum Manager, Tonia, for a registration packet:

Mason Bee Alert!!

There is a very severe threat to our Mason Bee populations, Chalk Brood. According to the USDA Agricultural Research Service there is very little known about the actual fungus in the genus Ascosphaera that attacks the Blue Orchard Mason Bee, Osmia lignaria. What we do know is that it is highly contagious and deadly, it can wipe out your entire colony. Larva ingest a deadly spore and vector the disease to any bees that come in contact with the cadaver. These infected bees spread the fungus to your mason bees house, flowers and other nesting sites.

As many of you know our Mason Bee sales/fundraising program has been halted for the season due to this devastating disorder. After sampling tubes from our arboretum and tubes from several different mason bee donors we found that all of our populations had varying degrees of infestation. We have worked tirelessly to replace tubes that had already been sent out and have opted to stop selling cocoons for the year. Our donors have gone through a very tedious process of harvesting and sanitizing their remaining cocoons, in hopes that an uninfected generation will be born this year.

Please take this threat very seriously. This is just a great reminder of the importance of sanitation in your orchard practices. The only way to ensure that we are not spreading the disease is to harvest all of your mason bee cocoons. Clean and sanitize all of your nesting sites/homes on a yearly basis. Put out clean tubes every year, never reuse old tubes.

Harvesting cocoons takes a bit of time but, saving these bees is well worth our time and effort. Once the cocoons are harvested, by carefully slicing or cutting open, you must remove all the frass and pollen debris. 1.5 tsp of bleach to 1 cup of water is the recommended solution for sanitizing the cocoons and their homes. Your cocoons must be dried and placed in a refrigerator in a vented container. Temperature and humidity are important factors for their survival. 36-39 degrees and 60% or ^ humidity is ideal. A “bee emergence shelter” will need to be placed as close to their new nesting site as possible. They are available from different online sources or you can make your own. It needs to be a dark container with holes. At the arboretum we have used things like sour cream/yogurt containers and small waxed cardboard boxes.

Lots of information and control measure can be found online, please educate your selves on this disease and other problems that threaten our Mason Bee populations.
I wish you all the best of luck and remind you that we need to be good stewards to these wonderful little creatures that have served us so well over the years.

Tonia Lordy
HOS Arboretum, Manager