Out of the Orchard

Agency directors from Washington, Oregon, Michigan, and New York give their take on the world of tree fruit. View blog

The Wind Machine

Occasional thoughts on the politics and activities of Washington, D.C., as they may have relevance to our tree fruit industry. View blog 


All Good Fruit Grower blog posts:

Schlect: State of the Union

● The Foreign Agricultural Service has long been viewed as an elite arm of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, staffed with talented, aggressive trade negotiators and export marketing experts. Employee morale once seemed high to me and many others who work with this agency. Over the past several years, [...]

Making peace with pears

Being in a packing house at the height of harvest always amazes me. I am fascinated at all the interconnected pieces that take the fruit from bin to box, each step a delicate dance of gears and conveyers and people moving in unison to the constant hum of the [...]

A prize pick!

We asked 4-year-old Ciara Mullinax to pull a name from the hundreds of readers who entered our drawing for an Apple iPad during the recent Washington Hort Show. Ciara drew the name of Steve Paganelli of Taylor Orchards of Mattawa, Washington.  Ciara is the daughter of our Digital Producer, [...]

A first for 2015

January 1. Just writing that date stirs thoughts of what’s to come. Each year, we here at Good Fruit Grower put 17 dates on our covers, but it seems none carry as much impact as this first one. This is the time when we look ahead with the rest of the [...]

Schlect: On the docks

● This fall’s disruptions of ocean shipping–that have lacerated our tree fruit exports–beg for some type of long-term remedy. Unionized longshoremen should not have the kind of economic clout that can be misused to so deeply harm our growers, other innocents, and, in general, the entire U.S. economy.

One [...]

Vineyard, winery tour in southern France

Washington State University’s Dr. Thomas Henick-Kling is leading a 12-day springtime tour in southern France to visit some of the most celebrated regions of the Southern Rhone Valley, including Chateauneuf du Pape, Bandol, and Hermitage. The tour, from April 19-May 1, offers behind-the-scenes gatherings with winemakers and grape growers.

Henick-Kling [...]

A bit of history with the O’Brien brothers

History runs deep in the O’Brien family’s orchards, which stretch along the lower Yakima River Valley just outside Prosser, Washington.

A couple of months ago, I got to spend a wonderful afternoon with brothers Mike and Craig, our two Good Fruit Growers of the Year honorees for 2014. I tagged [...]

Good Point: That unwashed grape

FSMA is another example of how a good idea (here, improved food safety for consumers) is forged into a federal law with little understanding by legislators of the complexities of the actual situation.

Schlect: Immigration

●  Now that President Obama has issued his executive order related to immigration, advocates for agricultural employers who have been working intensively but fruitlessly for many years seeking a federal legislative solution–will need to rethink the matter over the course of this winter.

When the new 114th Congress convenes next [...]

Schlect: Cow paths and ports

● A virtual shutdown of West Coast ports has severely damaged export efforts of our tree-fruit industry. Efforts by many of the commercial industries adversely affected, including ours, had requested President Obama to use special powers to intervene.

This was a long shot given that labor unions are part [...]