Archive for Festival of Fruit

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


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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2010 Festival of Fruit

Friends of Piper’s Orchard, City Fruit, and Seattle Tree Fruit Society held the 4th annual Festival of Fruit on Saturday, September 18th, from 10:00am – 2:00pm. It was a big success, with great pies, fresh-pressed cider, information, visitors, and cooperating weather.

The program started with Dr. Bob Norton (a reknowned western Washington apple expert) giving a talk on making hard (and soft) apple cider.

Dr. Bob Norton discusses making cider.

 Meanwhile, apple tasting and cider pressing were going on outside.

The MacLeans provide orchard apples for sampling

Will Morgan feeds the cider press while others examine the output

Kids enjoyed coloring fruit and planting it on the tree

 We also enjoyed listening to Blue Star Creeper.

Blue Star Creeper

Following Dr. Norton’s talk, the pie judging started, and we were introduced to Ken Workman, who is a descendant of both Jessie Hiatt (an Iowan who was the originator of the Hawkeye apple, renamed Delicious) and Chief Seattle.

Ken Workman got Chief Seattle's cheek bones

Next, it was time to announce the results of the pie judging contest. The jury awarded all pies a ribbon, and selected 3 favorites. People lined up to get their pick from Tillie’s Cafe.

After all the pie was gone, people headed up to the orchard to hear presentations about Piper family and orchard history, viticulture and the heirloom grapes planted at the orchard, organic pest management, compost tea at the orchard, and permaculture at the orchard.

Fran Clifton shares Piper family and orchard history.

Andy Zaborski describes what grapes have been planted

We were fortunate to have a group of Boy Scouts help with parking and directions. 

Security staff

Following was the day’s program.

Time ELC Outside ELC
10:00 – 10:45 Cider making – Dr. Bob Norton MusicCaféDisplays tablesKids crafts
10:45 – 11:00 Intros of presentations to take place in the orchard later
11:00 – 11:15 Meet Ken Workman, a descendant of both Chief Seattle and Jesse Hiatt, developer of Red Delicious apple
11:15 – 11:30 Announcement of apple pie judging results
11:30 – 12:00 Treats available for sale and sampling
12:00 – 12:30   People walk to orchard
12:30 – 2:00   Presentations in orchard (weather permitting – otherwise in ELCA)

  • Orchard history
  • Grapes
  • Pest management
  • Permaculture/guild planting

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Festival of Fruit 2009 Gallery

Our third annual festival was a great success, with over 220 attendees and over 20 volunteers. The sun peeked through the clouds at times, and the periodic drizzles didn’t dampen our spirits. The festival took place simultaneously at the Environmental Learning Center, the Lower Meadow and the Orchard.

At the ELC we had informative presentations on viticulture, organic pest management, tree pruning and espalier, and apple varieties, old and new. We also had booths featuring Puget Sound Beekeepers Association, City Fruit, pruning, non-toxic pest management, and orchard management, as well as a kids craft area, apple cider pressing, the pie tasting contest, and Tillie’s Cafe, selling baked treats (apple pies featured), hot dogs, coffee and cider.

In the Lower Meadow, people were able to taste orchard apple varieties, operate the mechanical apple press, and enjoy the tunes from our wandering minstrel.

Up at the Orchard, more apple variety tasting took place, and at the end of the festival, Dr. Bob Norton took attendees on a tour, discussing the varieties.

We really want to thank all the volunteers and folks who attended. We encourage you to get involved in our upcoming orchard work parties.

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2009 Festival of Fruit

Celebrate the 3rd annual Piper’s Orchard Festival of Fruit by joining activities including:

  • apple variety tasting
  • cider pressing and tasting
  • apple pie contest (at noon)
  • apple pies and other treats for sale
  • presentations on tree selection, pruning, viti-culture, pest management, bee keeping, etc.
  • booths from other Western Washington fruit organizations
  • fun for children
  • visit the orchard

We’re honored to have Dr. Bob Norton, who started a western Washington tree fruit research facility in Mt. Vernon (still active) through WSU many years ago, as one of our presenters.  He will also lead a walk to the orchard. The festival will be held at the Carkeek Park Environmental Learning Center, as well as the Lower Meadow and the orchard. Parking is available at the Lower Meadow, where some activities will be held.

Date and time: Saturday 9/19, 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

The schedule for the various locations is as follows:

Environmental Learning Center

  • 11:00               Doors open
  • 11:10               Welcome
  • 11:30 – 12:00  “Growing Good Grapes” – Andy Zebrowski
  • 12:00               Pie judging contest
  • 12:30               Winners announced
  • 12:30 – 1:00    “Non-toxic Fruit Tree Pest Control” – Don Ricks
  • 1:00 – 2:00      “Summer Fruit Tree Pruning & Espalier” – David Conners
  • 2:00 – 3:00      “Fruit Varieties, Old & New” – Dr. Bob Norton
  • Cider pressing
  • Children’s crafts 11:00 – 2:00
  • Booths and information on orchard history, viti-culture, grafting, beekeeping, pest control, pruning, apple variety identification
  • Café opens 11:10 – coffee, pies, hot dogs for sale, cider for sale starting at noon

Lower Meadow

  • Cider pressing
  • Apple variety tasting
  • Music
  • Parking available, with shuttle continuously running between meadow and ELC


  • Friends of Piper’s Orchard will be in the orchard to answer any questions 11:00 – 3:00
  • Apple tree variety information
  • Apple variety tasting
  • 3:00 – Walk to orchard led by Dr. Bob Norton

For more information,  call (206) 684-0877.

Catch the Metro #28 to NW 100th Place behind QFC and walk a mile to the Carkeek Park Environmental Learning Center from the McAbee entrance.

All ages welcome.

No charge.

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