Archive for Festival of Fruit

Ninth annual Festival of Fruit – September 19, 2015

We had a great turnout (over 200) at our 9th festival, with informative presentations from Adam Wargacki and Sam Benowitz, founder of Raintree Nursery, lots of cider and pie for sale at Tilly’s Café, live music from Blue Star Creeper and Will Morgan, cider pressing, a pie contest, kids crafts, and tours of the wildlife habitat demonstration garden and Piper’s Orchard.

Thanks to all our volunteers and visitors who helped make it a success.

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9th Annual Festival of Fruit

The Friends of Piper’s Orchard invite the community to join them in celebrating Carkeek Park’s historic orchard from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 19. Events will include cider pressing and tasting, live music, an apple pie contest, activities for kids, guided tours of the historic orchard and more.

The event takes place at and around the Nancy Malmgren Environmental Center, 950 NW Carkeek Park Road. Visitors are encouraged to park below the learning center. Volunteers will be directing guests.

This event is free and open to the public. Activities will include:

  • Informational presentations: Presentations on historic orchards and fruit varieties featuring Sam Benowitz (Raintree Nursery) and Adam Wargacki.
  • Apple pie contest: Back by popular demand – bring a contest entry by 10 a.m. and buy a piece of contest pie after the winners are announced.
  • Apple identification: Bring apples from your home orchard for variety identification.
  • Fresh pressed cider: Visitors are encouraged to try out making cider the old-fashioned way, with a fresh cider press.
  • Homemade pie: Visitors are welcome to donate homemade pies. Fresh warm cider and slices of pie will be available for a nominal cost, with proceeds to support ongoing maintenance of the orchard.
  • Live music: Talented musicians will provide music during the festival.
  • Orchard tours: Expert volunteers who have painstakingly restored the orchard will lead tours, pointing out the heirloom varieties that are going strong as well as younger trees and newly planted grape vines.
  • Apple tasting: Visitors will have the chance to taste heirloom apple varieties that are grown in the orchard.
  • Kids’ crafts: Little ones will enjoy organized arts and crafts activities.
  • Wildlife habitat demonstration garden tour: Following presentations and the apple pie contest, a tour of the gardens near the Nancy Malmgren Environmental Center will be offered.

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8th Annual Festival of Fruit – September 13, 2014

We’re holding the 8th annual Festival of Fruit on September 13, 2014 from 10:00AM – 2:00PM at the Carkeek Park Environmental Learning Center. Events will include cider pressing and tasting, live music, activities for kids, guided tours of the historic orchard and more. In addition to the regular Festival, we’re excited to host a presentation on making cider from 2:30PM to 4:00PM in the ELC.

Experts including the renowned Dr. Bob Norton, retired research scientist from WSU Extension in Mt. Vernon and Shaun Shepherd from Portland’s Home Orchard Society, will give talks on apple varieties and identification.

Visitors are encouraged to try out making cider the old-fashioned way, with a hand cranked cider press.

Visitors are welcome to donate homemade pies. Fresh warm cider and slices of homemade pie will be available at a nominal cost, with proceeds to support ongoing maintenance of the orchard.

Expert volunteers who have painstakingly restored the orchard will lead tours, pointing out the heirloom varieties that are going strong as well as younger trees and newly planted grape vines.

Visitors will have the chance to taste heirloom apple varieties that are grown in the orchard.

Little ones will enjoy organized arts and crafts activities.

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2013 Piper’s Orchard Festival of Fruit – September 14, 2013

The 7th annual Piper’s Orchard Festival of Fruit is taking place on Saturday, September 14, 2013 at the Carkeek Park Environmental Learning Center and Piper’s Orchard from 10AM – 2PM. Join us for cider pressing, a pie contest, fruit tree experts, music, kids’ crafts, and more.

Our keynote speaker is Dr. Beverly Gerdeman, a noted researcher and entomologist from Washington State University. Dr. Gerdeman will share techniques for protecting backyard fruit from damaging insects – including the newly arrived and dreaded spotted wing drosophila. Recognized internationally as a fruit tree expert, Dr. Gerdeman is an engaging and fun presenter. She will speak at 10:00.

Competitive bakers are encouraged to enter the apple pie contest, with winners taking home prizes. Entries are due at the festival by 10:00.

We’ll be pressing fresh cider with a hand-cranked cider press. Fresh warm cider and slices of donated pies will be available from Tillie’s Café at a nominal cost, with proceeds supporting ongoing maintenance of the orchard. Buy a slice when Tillie’s Café opens at 10:30, and another after the pie contest results are announced at 11:45!

You can taste heirloom apple varieties from the orchard, enjoy live music, have your kids participate in crafts, and visit booths to learn about mason bees, City Fruit, and Seattle Tree Fruit Society.

Around 12:45 there will be a guided walk (weather permitting) up to Piper’s Orchard, less than 1/2 mile from the ELC. You can learn more about the orchard and see our beautiful apple-laden trees.

Visitors are encouraged to park below the learning center. Volunteers will be directing guests.

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2013 Piper’s Orchard Festival of Fruit

The 2013 Festival of Fruit, which will be held Saturday, September 14 from 10AM – 2PM, will be our seventh annual festival, and will celebrate several anniversaries. Andrew Piper purchased the land on which the orchard lies in 1888, 125 years ago this year. And the present day activities of releasing the abandoned orchard from its blackberry and ivy prison began in 1983, thanks to the enthusiasm of Daphne Lewis, a recently graduated landscape architect, who discovered the orchard while making a master-plan survey for Carkeek Park restoration.

We expect this year to be as fun and informative as the previous festivals. Our keynote speaker, Dr. Beverly Gerdeman, a noted WSU researcher and entomologist, will discuss protecting home orchards from damaging insects using organic, biological, and IPM techniques. She will also discuss her cutting-edge research on the spotted wing drosophila, a new pest and one now threatening backyard fruit here. Dr. Gerdeman, who is recognized internationally as an expert, is also a talented speaker. She is smart, articulate, funny, engaging, and an excellent communicator.

And, as in past years, we’ll be pressing cider, holding an apple pie contest, selling pies and cider, featuring live music, kids crafts, Piper’s Orchard apple variety tasting, and informative booths from City Fruit, Seattle Tree Fruit Society, etc. After the morning’s lecture, apple pie contest, and other activities at Carkeek Park’s Environmental Learning Center, you’ll have the opportunity to walk up to Piper’s Orchard, and learn more about the orchard and the Piper family history, permaculture, the grapes we’re growing, and more.

Here are some pictures from last year’s festival.

Pies and fresh pressed cider sold like hotcakes at Tillie's Cafe.

Pies and fresh pressed cider sold like hotcakes at Tillie’s Cafe.

Everyone got into the act with Will Murray's mechanical cider press

Everyone got into the act with Will Murray’s mechanical cider press

11 scrumptious pies competed for $50 Swansons Gift Card and vintage pie themed goodies

11 scrumptious pies competed for $50 Swansons Gift Card and vintage pie themed goodies

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Visitors walked up to the orchard to enjoy the sunshine and learn more about the trees, permaculture, and the orchard’s history.

Kids and their parents alike enjoyed making dream weavers, facilitated by artist David Francis.

Kids and their parents alike enjoyed making dream weavers, facilitated by artist David Francis.

Blue Star Creeper provided music while folks were pressing cider.

Blue Star Creeper provided music while folks were pressing cider.

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2012 Piper’s Orchard Festival of Fruit

6th annual festival was a great success, with about 275 attendees, tasty fresh-pressed cider, 11 terrific pies in the pie contest, tasty pies and cider available from Tillie’s Cafe, music by Blue Star Creeper, kids crafts, informative booths, a trip to Piper’s Orchard, wonderful weather, and electricity – which greatly facilitated the interesting presentations in the Carkeek Park Environmental Learning Center.

We thank all the volunteers who helped make the festival a success (including Boy Scouts, Campfire and Hillel), the Holman Road QFC that provided us with a generous gift card to purchase supplies, Swansons Nursery that provided a $50 gift card for the winning pie, Starbucks for tasty coffee, and Seattle Parks and Recreation for providing staffing and facilities in support of the festival.

Following are photos from the festival.

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Particular thanks go out to:

  • Presenters Tim Smith and Kathy Mendelson
  • Tillie’s Cafe lead Fran Clifton with kitchen support Robert and Judy
  • Pie Contest lead Jenn Dunlap, and judges Lori Brakken, Jon Rowley, Bob Norton
  • Cider presser Will Murray
  • Music lead Will Morgan
  • Artist in residence Dave Francis
  • Apple health and harvest coordinator Don Ricks
  • Set-up lead Ingela Wanerstrand
  • Master of ceremonies Bob Baines
  • Seattle Parks and Recreation staff and volunteer coordinator Brian Gay – Mr Signage

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2011 Festival of Fruit

The fifth annual Festival of Fruit and Piper’s Orchard 120th Anniversary a great success!

On Saturday, September 24th we held a very successful festival, with over 200 visitors, great presentations, apple cider, apple pie, kids crafts, music and a visit to the orchard. The weather was the best we’ve ever had, in the mid 70’s and sunny. We even managed to make the festival very environmentally friendly, due to a total power outage at the park (and surrounding neighborhood) during the festival. Good thing we had a mechanical as well as an electric cider press! Thank you to all the volunteers who helped make the festival a rousing success.

Click here to watch a youtube video about the festival.

Susan Dolan, our keynote speaker, is a historical landscape architect for the National Park Service and gave a fascinating talk about historic orchards in America.

Susan Dolan illustrates her comments with her book, due to no power for PowerPoint.

Meanwhile, many hands helped press cider through the mechanical press.

All hands on deck for pressing apple cider.

After Susan’s presentation, David Randal Gould, discussed fruit foraging in Seattle. Gail Savina of City Fruit talked about the Seattle Parks orchard stewardship program. And Ken Workman, a descendant of both Chief Seattle and Jesse Hiatt (who discovered the Hawkeye, which became the Red Delicious apple), described the historic Duwamish tribe diet.

Meanwhile, visitors were buying pie and cider at Tillie’s Cafe, apple pies were being judged, kids were making bee houses, music was entertaining the crowd, and visitors were learning the identity of their apples, tasting apples from the orchard, and learning about mason bees and other points of interest.

Piper’s Orchard apple varieties
Seattle Tree Fruit Society volunteers helped identify apple varieties
Music hath charms to sooth . . .
Kids assembled and painted bee houses.
Visitors helped clean out the mason bee hutches.

Finally, it was time to announce the winners of the apple pie contest. First prize was a $50 gift card to Swansons Nursery! Then everyone lined up to buy pie.

All the pies were great, but there was a grand prize winner, made with apples from Piper’s Orchard!

In the afternoon, many visitors head up to Piper’s Orchard, where they learned about orchard history, the heirloom variety grapes growing there, permaculture, and organic pest management.

The orchard was in fine shape.

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