Holy Cross Lutheran Church

Address: 4315 129th Pl SE, Bellevue, WA 98006


Types of fruit grown within this orchard: 

Heirloom apples: Varieties such as Winesap, Ben Davis, Baldwin, Esopus Spitzenberg, Duchess of Oldenburg, Opalescent, Transparent, and Winter Banana.

Plum: 4-way grafted Shiro/Methley/Hollywood/Beauty, 2-way grafted Italian/Early Laxton, Greengage, and several Italian.

European pear: Bartlett, 2-way grated Bartlett/Seckel, Lincoln or Duchess D’Angeline.

Smyrna quince  


Background and history:

Holy Cross Lutheran Church was built over 50 years ago on the site of a small farm and orchard.  Although Bellevue was once semi-rural, populated with many small farms and greenspaces, urbanization over the years has rapidly transformed the area.  Holy Cross shares that they intend to keep the site free from development and maintain the church grounds, community garden, and orchard for the enjoyment and use of the whole community (Holy Cross Lutheran Church, 2022).  


The orchard boasts a wide variety of fruit and nut trees, including 17 apples, 6 plums, 5 quince, 3 pears, and one walnut and hazelnut tree.  The Holy Cross Earthkeeping team has worked with community volunteers, as well as City Fruit, to harvest the fruit for local area foodbanks.  The Earthkeeping team share their 2012 harvest numbers as:


7/28/12 – 300 lbs. yellow Transparent apples 

8/4/12 – 100 lbs. yellow Transparent apples

8/11/12 – 10 lbs. Winesap apples & 5 lbs. Italian plums

8/25/12 – 200 lbs. misc. apples and plums

9/8/12 – 300 lbs. apples, pears, and plums

9/22/12 – 80 lbs. misc apples

10/6/12 – 60 lbs. apples (made 30 gals of apple cider at their annual community cider press event) & 50 lbs. of quince sold to local restaurants

10/20/12 – 100 lbs. of quince sold to local restaurants 

Total fruit without quince = 1,055 lbs. (0.5 ton)

(Image description: View of the orchard on an early spring day!)
(Image description: View of the orchard on an early spring day!)
(Image description: Holy Cross Orchard was the site of a winter pruning workshop for City Fruit's Master Fruit Tree Steward program.)
(Image description: Transparent apples are one the heirloom apple varieties that grow at the orchard! They are an early ripening variety, usually harvested in the first months of summer.)
(Image description: Cleaning up fruit from the orchard floor is critical to prevent invasive pest infestation.)
(Image description: Windfallen fruit picked off the orchard floor can be composted, pressed into cider, or processed into different kinds of food items including apple sauce, apple butter, and pies/tarts.)