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.
MFTS Program Overview
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. Recruitment for the 2022 MFTS Cohort is now closed, but please email [email protected] if you would like to be added to the 2023 cohort outreach list.
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.
02/12/22 – OPTIONAL Interest Meeting
03/12/22 – Grafting workshop
04/09/22 – Mulching and companion planting workshop
05/14/22 – Integrative Pest Management (IPM): thinning, bagging, and netting
06/11/22 – PNW Fruit Tree ID and site placement workshop
No session in July
08/13/22 – Summer pruning workshop
09/10/22 – Orchard clean-up, harvest, and cider press workshop
10/8/22 – Food justice workshop (tour of partnering food distribution partner); end of program celebration
Cost and Requirements
Cost for the program is $375, plus a $25 deposit that will be refunded back to the student upon completion of the community service requirement*. Program cost includes all materials and City Fruit t-shirt. 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.
*It is important that our students pass on their knowledge during the program in the form of volunteer time. It is required that each student participate in at least 10 hours of volunteer service (approximately 5 volunteer events). Students may either volunteer directly with City Fruit, or with a local organization working on alleviating food insecurity. Students that do not fulfill this requirement by 12/31/22 may forfeit their $25 deposit.