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Home Orchard Society Forums - View topic - orcharding knowhow in the S. Willamette Valley
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 orcharding knowhow in the S. Willamette Valley 
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Joined: Wed Feb 20, 2008 8:10 am
Posts: 45
Location: Springfield, OR, USA
Post orcharding knowhow in the S. Willamette Valley
Does the HOS have a holdout in the S. Willamette Valley? I hear wind of a (past) chapter around Corvallis, a little ways to my north, but am curious to know of any impetus in my neck of the woods (Eugene/Springfield). I ask because check-ins with friends suggest the possibility of informally gathering around the home fruit theme.

The OSU imprimatur is very prevalent hereabouts - Ross Penahalligon our local extension agent was raised orcharding, travels the globe teaching it to the poor, and leads the major traditional Spring pruning workshops in Eugene - hosted annually in a sister garden to the Food For Lane County Youth farm where I live and work, and well-attended. Ross is a very fine soul. He is enthusiastic about non-organic approaches. In recent years the local permaculture community, with which I am closely associated, have organized pruning and grafting workshops, advertised by word of mouth, characterized for the most part by the relative inexperience of the presenters and low-turnout. I believe Rick Valley used to spend time around HOS events. He's local and coming round for dindins on Wed night. Devon Bonady, who has swung briefly, I believe, through Arboretum Karen's orbit, is now running a permaculture nursery in Cottage Grove about half an hour south of Eugene and is grafting. We have a rich cast of characters lurking farther afield in the Coast Range whose deep experience is matched, understandably, by a reluctance to sashay forth into the trafficked madness of I-5 world but between us, sometime, we might be able to manage a quorum of sorts. Nothing firm at this juncture I hasten to add: the enthusiasm of those I've approached is tempered by the caution of already-busy schedules and so we are more blowhards than diehards for the time being - but I'm curious as to whether HOS central has any ideas about the merit or means of gauging interest in the Deep South (of the Willamette Valley).


Mon Mar 03, 2008 2:44 pm
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Joined: Thu Jan 27, 2005 11:27 pm
Posts: 1186
Location: Yamhill County, Oregon
Post 
“Does the HOS have a holdout in the S. Willamette Valley?” – Not that I know of. The last (and first) HOS chapter was the Luelling Memorial Chapter that included Yamhill County, and me. It’s been re-named to (something like) The Home Orchard Interest Group and may still meet, though I’ve not attended for several years. Having spent two terms on the Luelling Mem. Chapter board (it was a going concern – our own scion exchange, fruit show and everything!) I forget the reasons ‘we’ are no longer affiliated with the HOS proper… Formalities ~

“We have a rich cast of characters lurking farther afield in the Coast Range whose deep experience is matched, understandably, by a reluctance to sashay forth into the trafficked madness of I-5 world but between us, sometime, we might be able to manage a quorum of sorts.” -- Just wanted to re-read that – Delicious! …and it prettymuch described our cast of yesteryear up north; practical longtime orchardists, newly retired enthusiasts and dreamy-eyed youth… What a run!

“but I'm curious as to whether HOS central has any ideas about the merit or means of gauging interest in the Deep South (of the Willamette Valley).” – Good question, good luck!

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Mon Mar 03, 2008 5:39 pm
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Joined: Thu Jan 20, 2005 1:30 pm
Posts: 47
Location: Portland, Oregon
Post 
The Luelling Interest Group if that's what it's called is still affiliated with HOS, it's just that we did away with chapters as they once existed. We (the board of directors) decided that the chapter thing never really did work very well or at least there wasn't much we could do to help chapters exist or grow. We have trouble finding folks that will serve here, there are just a few of us who do a lot. I am contiually surprised at what we manage to accomplish and that we have managed to stay viable for 30+ years. At one point long ago there may have been as many as 4 chapters? Some of them did pretty good for a while, but usually died for lack of enough people that were willing to do enough work. Luelling held out far longer than any of the rest, but sadly dwindled away as well. We incourage (and will help in any way we are able) people to get together and form interest groups or whatever you want to call them and even have events if you can manage it,but formal chapters are done. Organizing tours is a greatway to strengthen HOS and have more local excuses to get together with other members and/other plant/fruit folks and we can put them on our events calender in the Pome News and this web site.
Dave Morris who is associated with the master gardeners around Corvallis has been thinking very simular thoughts. I will call and encourage him to inter this discussion.
Dave and Ross(I might go, haven't decided for sure yet) both will be at the Germ Plasm Repository on Saturday 3/15 for a pruning of the cider apple block, maybe a good time for further talk?

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Mon Mar 03, 2008 6:57 pm
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Joined: Wed Feb 20, 2008 8:10 am
Posts: 45
Location: Springfield, OR, USA
Post Rendez-vous
Sounds doable. I'm particularly taken by the context for such a rendez-vous. I really don't care for meetings except in the 'garden'. If and when something is confirmed, and only if it's appropriate, I'll drop a headsup note on the Corvallis Organic Gardeners and the Ten Rivers Food Web group. The OG gardeners group consistently hosts the finest potlucks I have ever attended. Kind food, kind people, and a very active group. And the food web crew are that local association around Corvallis most concerned with the long view of local food security - their ongoing activities included a just-held grafting workshop by Delbert McCombs of the OG Earth's Rising Trees nursery in Monroe who tells me he picked up most of the scion wood for the trees he currently offers, at the original HOS scion wood swaps in Corvallis. He carries many solid storage varieties. He also tells me he won't cleft-graft cherries or peaches at all: only bud graft. Says it makes all the difference to the vigor of a tree.


Tue Mar 04, 2008 8:06 am
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Joined: Sat Apr 07, 2007 11:28 pm
Posts: 498
Location: Willamette Valley near Scio
Post 
You might want to check on whip grafting cherries once more, because I have never heard that, and my whip&tongue grafts, done in March, have put on good growth.


Tue Mar 04, 2008 9:21 am
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Joined: Wed Feb 20, 2008 8:10 am
Posts: 45
Location: Springfield, OR, USA
Post Corvallis rendez-vous?
Checked in with Rick Valley who is now based east of Eugene but who used to live further north and was more engaged with the HOS back then, I believe. Just so happens he will be overnighting in the Corvallis neighborhood next Friday evening and it will not be difficult for him to fall into a pruning conversation on Saturday if it comes together. But the serendipity is sweeter than simply that. It trapspires Rick is overnighting in Philomath to watch his boy perform in a school play. The character Martin is playing? Johnny Appleseed! Yup, Dad's delighted with that. Martin's sister, a teen, travels with felcos. Dad and kids will be in attendance if the rendez-vous occurs. Fair to say that Rick is one of the more influential permaculture teachers in the PNW. A very observant chappie.


Thu Mar 06, 2008 1:52 pm
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Joined: Sun Feb 17, 2008 9:47 pm
Posts: 3
Location: Deadwood and Portland, OR
Post 
Am new to orcharding and among those lurking farther afield in the dappled depths of the coast range--Deadwood. That's right folks, Deadwood, think Greenleaf, Swisshome, Mapleton, and so forth. In any case, I'd like very much to meet people growing apples, pears (Asian and Euro), figs, and other fruits out our way. We've just barely begun to choose varieties but would like to be better informed about those that are apt to succeed in our forest edgy, elk endowed, gopher havened homestead. I sashay north regularly as my husband teaches school in PDX until June. Will be at HOS Prop Fair on Saturday taking cash for footies and trying to eavesdrop on the conversations of you experts. Interest groups and field trips are good suggestions.


Sat Mar 08, 2008 12:06 am
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Joined: Wed Feb 20, 2008 8:10 am
Posts: 45
Location: Springfield, OR, USA
Post Deadwood
Hi, Jodi. One of the more active orchardists I know is a longtime Deadwood resident. More trees than he knows what to do with. And he knows one or two more very experienced hands within easy reach of you. Stay in touch.


Sat Mar 08, 2008 5:29 am
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Joined: Sun Mar 13, 2005 10:09 pm
Posts: 33
Location: Oregon city, OR zone 8a
Post 
you are up way to early/late, nick.....jeez.


Sat Mar 08, 2008 8:34 am
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Joined: Wed Feb 20, 2008 8:10 am
Posts: 45
Location: Springfield, OR, USA
Post 
Da early birdie gets da worm, oh "Mistress of the Arboretum"...hmm, that makes ya sound like some sorta gothically arboreal presence outta Ambrose Bierce or the Decemberists or somesuch. <smile>

Luverly to cross paths with you, Karen, and the other HOSers you pointed me at. All told, I came away from the event with what feels like a deepening shift in the horticultural trajectory reinforced by a profoundly positive experience. And, of course, in the very short term, a grafting to-do list that has me relishing the prospect of staying home for a good many hours of settling in to the good work. Just delightful putting faces to virtual contacts, too. I managed to pass some seed along in a pre-arranged veggiegeek meets fruitgeek exchange that left big smiles on both faces. A great pity that Viron couldn't be there today. I had very much been looking forward to meeting him. And it appears I am closer to the heart of the Eugene-Springfield fruit tree tribe than I had assumed. A phonecall will do the rest, I suspect.

So very much to ponder. I am sure our conversation will continue. In the short term, do you have contact info for the garrulous Dennis who was with the rather engaging grafting crew? Watching that sideshow was simply fun. Hippie TV, no less. Not quite 100% wholesome, but mosta the way there. <wink>. Dennis mentioned he had just been part of a mammoth high-school grafting project and I'd like to get the lowdown on how that came together. Strikes me as an idea we might run up the flagpole in my neck of the woods to see if the wind is blowing. Never mind the funding story, what I'm particularly curious about is how hundreds of kids graft without inflicting grievous bodily harm on furniture, themselves and each other. Grafting emulsion will only go so far.

It was sweet, today, to be reminded so strongly that one of the best reasons to hang with plants is the tribes who gather around 'em. A joke, then, in your honor.

Axe-wielding maniac to HOSer: "YOUR OHxF 87A OR YOUR LIFE!"
Pause.
Axe-wielding maniac to HOSer: "WELL!?"
HOSer: "Hold on a second...I'm thinking."

;-)

Later,

n


Sat Mar 08, 2008 10:28 pm
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Joined: Sun Feb 17, 2008 9:47 pm
Posts: 3
Location: Deadwood and Portland, OR
Post 
Hey Nick, thanks so much for responding to my cry for communion with coastal mountain-dwelling fruities. I may know of the fellow you mentioned who has more trees than he knows what to do with. If so, we met just last week--chewed on milk thistle seeds and shot the breeze about local challenges to fruit growing. Would much enjoy meeting others. How to communicate further on this?


Sun Mar 09, 2008 9:24 pm
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Joined: Wed Feb 20, 2008 8:10 am
Posts: 45
Location: Springfield, OR, USA
Post 
You beat me to it! If you were chewing milk thistle seed, it was Fred!

Yes, he's your point person and, of course, he has quite a few trees he needs to find homes for. Fred's my contact into your neck of the woods and the fruit geeks who hang there.

If you are looking to pick up fruit trees from official nuseries, there are three worth a good looksee 'locally' - in Monroe, Yoncolla and Eugene. Monroe is fully OG. If you have any specific questions, our local extension service fellah, Ross Penhalligon, is Mistah Orchardist and sits at the heart of the fruit tree scene hereabouts. Very knowledgeable indeed, though not OG. Outsida that, if you want to drop me a line, click on my profile and it should allow you to get a missive to me. Hope you had fun yesterday. Quite the scrimmage, eh?

n


Sun Mar 09, 2008 9:40 pm
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