Vashon Fruit Club

Vashon Fruit Club

The Vashon Fruit Club first leased space for an orchard on Sunrise Ridge in 2012 with the vision of a legacy project for the community. The group plans to conduct research trials and demonstration projects on fruit tree cultivars, berries, and other fruit not often grown in our maritime climate.

In the first year, members worked to clear the land, fenced it to keep the deer out, and began planting. The orchard has developed into a vibrant demonstration of the abundance of fruit that can be grown in a relatively small space by using techniques that are readily available but not always considered. Raised beds provide everbearing strawberries for much of the summer.

Two “Fruit Basket” trees, developed by Dr. Bob Norton, were planted in 2013 to honor Sunrise Ridge founders Dorothy Johnson and Opal Montague. These trees are grafted with varieties of cherries, plums, and almonds. Some trees have been espaliered to maximize use of space, a hugelkultur bed was constructed and planted with raspberries, and a shelter has been constructed to protect susceptible trees from peach leaf curl.

The objectives of the Vashon Fruit Club Sunrise Ridge Orchard are:

  • To research and demonstrate cultivars suitable to Vashon, in particular, apples, pears, stone fruit and berries
    • To conduct trials on untested varieties and heritage trees
    • To research and employ various dwarfing rootstocks and interstems
    • To demonstrate various training systems, e.g., espalier including Belgian fencing, umbrella, and candelabra
    • To share and communicate fruit growing knowledge with Fruit Club members and the general public