Calling all fruit tree enthusiasts! If you love fruit trees and want to be able to better care of fruit trees in your own backyard, at a neighbor’s house, or in public orchards to help preserve Seattle’s urban fruit canopy, then this program is for you!
Master Fruit Tree Steward (MFTS) classes prepare community members to grow, cultivate and care for fruit trees in the greater Seattle community. The program is open to students of all ages, perspectives, and abilities. For a program geared more toward younger learners, our Youth Fruit Tree Steward (YFTS) program is currently in development.
The program consists of a total of 7 hands-on workshops that combine both classroom and urban orchard experiences to gain skills in identifying, planting, pruning, harvesting and sharing fruit from local fruit trees. Session dates and topics are as follows (dates may shift as needed to respond to instructor availability and extreme weather). Sessions generally run from 10-2 pm (4 hours) on Saturday mornings, and are held in the Greater Seattle Area (with the exception of a potential session at NW Fruit in Mt. Vernon).
• 02/18/23 – Fruit tree anatomy & grafting workshop (Location: Ballard P-Patch)
• 03/11/23 – Northwest Fruit Society Winter Field Day (Location: Mt. Vernon)
• 04/08/23 – Orchard design and companion planting (Location: TBD)
• No session in May
• 06/10/23 – Integrated Pest Management (Location: TBD)
• 07/08/23 and/or 08/12/23 – Pruning workshop (Locations pending: Holy Cross Orchard & Longacres Orchard). Stewards can attend just one or both sessions for extra practice.
• 09/09/23 – Orchard clean-up, harvest, and cider press (Location: TBD)
• 10/14/23 – Fruit diversion processing and culinary workshop (Location: TBD)
Cost and Requirements
Cost for the program is $375. Program cost includes all materials, membership to NW Fruit Society (if participating in the Winter Field Day), and City Fruit t-shirt. We currently offer a limited number of need-based scholarships to alleviate barriers to entry such as child-care and public transportation costs. For questions, please email [email protected].
Students may not miss more than two of seven program sessions in order to graduate from the program. Notice and reason for absence must be communicated with program manager. Students must also be able to complete between 1-3 hours of readings, videos, observations, and/or hand-outs in between program sessions.