Category Archives: Meeting Notes

July Meeting is Cane Fruit!

Forget cherries. July Fourth is celebrated and done and all the cherry pie is eaten. That means it’s time to start thinking about next year and (drumroll, please) the Queen of Fruits: Raspberries.

We are fortunate to have a Pam Sinclair speak to us this month about cane fruits, that group of fruits with long canes and thumb-pricking thorns (excluding, of course, the near-perfect raspberry…). Pam will present an overview of growing all sorts of cane berries – how to select, grow (soils, pH, watering, fertilizing, pruning, etc.) and the common problems – excluding bleeding thumbs – berry growers face.

Pam is a longtime nursery person, a certified professional horticulturist and garden educator. She has taught college level soil and plant ID classes and does a series of basic gardening classes for Valley Nursery in Poulsbo each spring. She has also been published in several national gardening publications.

Pam has been operating a landscape design and consultation business for the past 25 years, GardenGal Designs. She was a longtime resident of the north Seattle area then moved to Kitsap about 10 years ago living in Indianola on the beach for most of that time. She recently moved to Bainbridge. Pam says, “I garden with the help of a loveable but clueless Cocker spaniel and a very helpful, hunting cat. Just wish he was big enough to keep the deer out of the garden!!” “I love talking about plants …any kind!”.

We’ll have coffee/tea and snacks to share. Don’t miss this fun event!

Bainbridge Island Fruit Club February Meeting

When – July 18, 2019, 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm

Where – Bainbridge Island Grange Hall (Downstairs), 10340 Madison Ave NE.

See you there!

Work Party!- This Sunday the 17th! It’s a pruning & spring cleanup event at beautiful Johnson Farm

Hi, BI Fruit Club!

You’re invited to join fellow club members this weekend, Sunday, March 17, for a pruning and spring cleanup event at beautiful Johnson Farm. The winter snow was unkind to many of the farm’s fruit trees and some sprucing up is in order.

This is a great opportunity for beginners to learn some hands-on basics of pruning, hone their skills or just lend a hand in maintaining this wonderful public farmland. Fruit club members with pruning experience will be available to answer questions and model techniques. Children are welcome.

Master gardeners, please inquire with your coordinator for possible credit hours.

This marks the third year of the club’s ongoing efforts in helping restore the Johnson Farm orchard as part of our partnership with Friends of the Farms. Please join!

Where: Johnson Farm Orchard

When: Sunday, March 17, 1-5 p.m.

What to bring: Water, snacks, pruning tools, gloves if you want them.

Access: Fletcher Bay Road to NE Twin Ponds Rd.  See map insert below.

BI Fruit Club March Meeting and Grafting Event

George Washington was mis-quoted! What he really said was that he was grafting his father’s cherry tree. And this month you’ll have a chance to join with our fortuitous founding father and graft your own cherry. Or apple or pear or plum. You get the idea.

The BIFC March meeting is our annual Grafting Event and Plant Sale Extravaganza where you can learn how to graft new varieties onto your fruit trees and build your own fruit-salad orchard. In short, grafting is simply inserting a portion of one plant (usually a shoot – called the scion) onto another, the ‘host’ so they grow together to make a single plant. That’s it! You can graft one type or multiple varieties onto a single host rootstock!!

In addition to hands on instructions, the Club will have available a large selection of heirloom and modern apple, pear, plum, and cherry scion wood cuttings and small rootstocks (up to 2 feet long) for grafting. You can also bring your own bare rooted or potted fruit trees (from Bay Hay, Bainbridge Gardens or even Costco) and design your own multi-variety trees! There is a small fee for club provided rootstock – $5 dollars – and scion wood only $1 dollar per cutting for non-members. If you’re already a member (or join at the meeting) you can save a buck on the rootstock and HALF OFF(!!!) on the scion wood. That’s right, for less than the price of a Grande latte you can be sipping cider for the rest of your life!

As usual we will also have plants for sale with all proceeds going to the Club. If you have extra seeds, vegetable starts, flowers, bulbs, berry plants, and/or fruit trees bring them to sell at the meeting. It will be a big help!

We’ll have coffee/tea and snacks to share. Don’t miss this fun event!

Bainbridge Island Fruit Club February Meeting

When –March 21, 2019, 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm

Where – Bainbridge Island Grange Hall (Downstairs), 10340 Madison Ave NE.

B.I. Fruit Club February Meeting

It’s that time of year! Dormant pruning! And this month we have a special speaker to help you make the cut. The BIFC February meeting features local farm legend, viticulturalist, and orchardist Betsy Wittick speaking on pruning techniques to maximize fruit tree health and get the most fruit from your trees.

Betsey is a long-term organic farmer and proprietor of the Laughing Crow Farm – a fixture at the B.I. Farmers’ Market. Since 2013 she has been taking care of things as winemaker and viticulturalist at Bainbridge Vineyards. Betsey holds a master’s degree in Horticulture from Cornell University, and has growing grapes, making wine and farming on Bainbridge Island since 1989.

Bainbridge Island Fruit Club February Meeting

When – February 21, 2019 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm

Where – Bainbridge Island Grange Hall (Downstairs), 10340 Madison Ave NE.

See you there!

BIFC January Meeting

Want to learn more about improving fruit tree health and growth? Well, you’ve got to start at the root! Come to the BIFC January meeting and hear local tree Guru and famed plant pathologist Olaf Ribeiro talk about The Role of Soil Microorganisms, Root Pathogens & Nutrition in maintaining Tree Health & Longevity.

You’ll learn the vital role microorganisms play in the soil by improving root nutrient uptake and soil conditioning. Without good microbial activity, maintaining tree health is difficult but with the presence of a health micro-ecosystem your trees will benefit from improved nutrient uptake, be better able to fight off root pathogens and revel in your improved soil structure and function. Olaf’s talk will describe various methods that have been successfully utilized to increase root growth and improve tree health and longevity.

Olaf has multiple degrees in Agriculture, Plant Pathology and Genetics. His over 50 published papers and books informed his 30+ years of problem solving in real-world tree health maintenance and diagnosis.

Bainbridge Island Fruit Club January Meeting

When – January 17, 2019 6:00 pm – 8:30 pm

Where – Bainbridge Island Grange Hall (Downstairs), 10340 Madison Ave NE.

See you there!

BIFC November Meeting: Let’s make some cider!

Tis the season for cider making!!! We are very excited to have Tom Mueller return to speak to the fruit club about the craft of cider making!!
Yes indeed! Tom is an extreme home cider maker and has graciously agreed to return as a guest speaker to share his expertise and trials & errors with us again!

Day – Thursday November 15th
Time – 6:30pm
Location- Downstairs at the Bainbridge Grange on Madison Ave. (10340 Madison Ave NE, Bainbridge Island, WA 98110)

Tom has been home brewing, making cider and fruit wines for 20 years (when he first moved to Bainbridge). He has been involved in backyard fruit growing and was on the board of Western Washington Fruit Growers Foundation for two years. There they worked with WSU in Mt. Vernon to grow various types of fruit trees and bushes to see what worked best in our climate.

Tom plans on talking to us about how he got into making cider and how he learned the process. He’ll go thru the equipment needed and go over the basic recipe for making cider. He’ll talk about various apple and pear varieties that have worked for him and how to mix different varieties to get more complex ciders. He’ll also tell us what works and he’ll share some of his failures and surprises!

Can you tell we’re excited?!
See you then!

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BIFC October Meeting

The BIFC is JAMMIN’ this month!

We are EXTREMELY lucky to hear from Kerrie Sanson, sole proprietor and creator of Preserve, a regular at the B.I. Farmers’ Market. Kerrie got her training at Quillisascut Farmstead Cheese & School of the Domestic Arts in Rice Washington and is a WSDA Licensed Food Processor. Among her recent gigs she was a cook at Marche and executive chef at Hey Day Farm where she did a lot of the ‘back-stock’ canning to accommodate the copious amounts of produce coming off the farm. Now, through Preserve, she works with local farmers to gather the freshest produce and sustain their flavor long after the season has passed.

If you want to learn what to do with your own fruit and vegetable excess and learn more about the techniques, equipment, sanitation, and developing your own unique preserves by adding herbs and liquors, then do not miss this meeting!

As always, make sure to bring your questions for Kerrie or to talk about with the club in Fruit Chat!

And then there’s apples. Why are there so many apples? Find out what your apples are capable of at November’s meeting when Tom Mueller talks about cider making.

Bainbridge Island Fruit Club October Meeting
When – October 18, 2018 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm
Where – Bainbridge Island Grange Hall (Downstairs), 10340 Madison Ave NE.

See you there!

August 16th Meeting- Garden Tour at Darren’s!!

• Date: Thursday August 16th
• Time: 6pm-8pm
• Location: 762 Klickitat Place, NE, Bainbridge Island.
Map Link Here

Once every few years we get to see the changes in Darrens’ abundantly-prolific garden. This year is the year!! Though as usual he as plans for us while we are there! 🙂

Darren has potted all the extra apple rootstock from the spring show…so folks will be able to graft a small tree to take home! He also has some potted pear root stock from last year. He is asking folks to pay $5 dollars for the potted rootstock. (He will also have potted Desert King fig and various varieties of grape starts…for those that are interested…also for $5 dollars). These monies go to supplying club speakers and maybe one day an overhead projector! 🙂

In addition, Darren will have cuttings from the various varieties from his orchard…though people can bring their own for grafting too. The cuttings should comprise of this year’s new growth…and include a number of leaf buds (not larger fruit buds). It is the leaf buds that we will be using to graft onto the stems of the potted rootstock.

Here is a description of Darren’s yard — “I have about 40 fruit trees…comprising multi-grafted apples, pears, and plums…as well as various varieties of pears, peaches, grapes, and kiwis. My yard is totally loaded with fruit this year…so folks will be able to see and taste a good selection. Overall, I have easily 200 varieties of fruit…maybe more”.

Attendees are also encourage to bring some fruit samples…for sharing/tasking among the group.

July’s Fruit Club Meeting, 7/19/18-Summer Fruits and Pest Controls

Happy July, Bainbridge Island Fruit Club!

This month’s meeting will be on Summer Fruits and Pest Controls. …Right on time to save our wonderful fruits from those wiggly awful bugs!

The meeting will focus on the fruits of early summer (e.g., berries, cherries, peaches, and plums), with attendees encouraged to bring samples for tasting. Darren will also go over some of the best plum varieties for the Puget Sound area as well as common pests (large and small) that effect summer fruit and low-cost techniques for managing them.

Darren says he’s looking forward to this topic …because he has sort of specialized in testing various plum varieties to see what works and what doesn’t in our climate over the last 20 years. He already have some plums ripening…and with the warm weather coming up…we should have even more for our meeting. Yum.

  • Meeting Date – Thursday, July 19th
  • Location – Bainbridge Grange Hall at 10340 Madison Ave NE. Bainbridge Island, WA
  • Time – 6:30-8:30pm

We’d love to see you all there!

April 19th’s Fruit Club Meeting – Edible Weeds with Kathryn Lafond

Hello Fruit Club and Friends!!

Our April’s Fruit Club Meeting is one we received a lot of interest about hearing, edible weeds. Wise Woman Herbalist, Kathryn Lafond author of ‘Seasoned With Gratitude’, Recipes and Blessings Celebrating the Greater Nourishment of Real Food will be our speaker this month.   Her bio is below.

We meet the third Thursday of every month. This month’s meeting will be Thursday April 19th, from 6:30pm to 8:30 pm at the Bainbridge Grange Hall at: 10340 Madison Ave NE, Bainbridge Island, WA 98110

We hope you will join us to hear this timely topic as our gardens, fields and forests are springing forth with life.  Everyone is welcome.
Questions?  Post on our Facebook page: Bainbridge Island Fruit Club on Facebook

Plant Related Discussion:

  • Introduction – The Importance of the Wild Plants
    • Why relationships matter
  • Common Spring Plants to Northwest Properties
    • Allies or Enemies
    • Qualities that improve our lives
  • Sampling – As food, as drink, as medicine
    • Mediums – Why Vinegar, Tincture, Infusion or Poultice?
  • Brief Discussion – What have you tried?   How have you benefitted?


Kathryn Lafond, known for her love of the natural world, is devoted to helping us remember that all life is to be revered and that cooking is the act that transforms the sacred plants and animals into nourishment. For over 25 years she has served her community as an Intuitive Energy Healer, health coach, spiritual guide, writer, as well as teacher of Wild Foods and Medicine classes. Author of Seasoned with Gratitude: 250 Recipes & Blessings Celebrating the Greater Nourishment of Real Food, discover more at

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