Out of the Orchard


Forecasts, Trends, and Hot Topics for 2011

As we enter the new year, it seems as though many pundits are predicting the hot trends and topics for 2011. I’ve developed my own list based on relevancy to our industry.
Buying Local – This will continue to be hot and may get more buzz than organic. [...]

Pie shooters and other great trends

This past week, the Cherry Marketing Institute held its 22nd annual meeting in Traverse City, Michigan. We presented a report to the industry detailing the marketing results from 2010, as well as plans for 2011. It has been an amazing year as the “Red Recovery Routine” worked well for [...]

Full Disclosure and Open Transparency

Now that the U.S. Government has passed the long-awaited food-safety legislation that has been many years in the making, one would think that we are all about to enter into a new era of consumer protectionism. Billed as The Food Safety Modernization Act, costing an estimated $1.4 billion in [...]

Cherry Institute

Winters seem to pass more quickly every year. As most know … winter is officially “meeting time” in the Pacific Northwest tree fruit industry. Cherry growers will have numerous opportunities to come in from the cold and focus on the challenges of producing the best sweet cherries in the [...]

New Year, New Congress

The year 2011 will be a challenge for our industry as we enter into an era of reduced spending and, obviously, program cutting. In most cases, defeated House members were ousted because, well, “change” didn’t come as promised, and what change did happen, came with a huge price tag!

New [...]

Thank You Growers

Recently growers received a mailing from the Washington Apple Commission outlining the need to have accurate and up-to-date addresses and acreages. We have had overwhelming response to this mailing and I want to thank all growers for their kind attention to this very important issue. Accurate grower information is [...]

Celebrate National Pear Month

Once again this year, at the behest of the Pear Bureau, the USDA has named December “National Pear Month”. We use this designation to create buzz among food editors, so they will write about pears and include pear recipes in their publications. Outreach to editors is an important and [...]

Colombia market vulnerable

Having just returned from Colombia, Washington’s largest South American apple market, I realized I was witnessing the deterioration of a very important partner of Washington’s apple growers.  Not only has Colombia exceeded 400,000 cartons of imports from Washington, the consumer preferences by variety and size enhance grower returns.  Galas [...]

Yes We Can…

In recent years, my wife Maggie and I have canned peaches, tomatoes, and asparagus. Maggie comes from a large family and we usually make our “canning day” a group family affair that includes many of her 8 brothers and sisters and extended family. We have great fun and end [...]

China, continued….

I would like to point out the labor-intensive methodology of harvest, to storage, to packing. The first packer asks the grower to presize and presort in the orchard, harvesting the product into the plastic bushel containers (15kg). Upon delivery and purchase, similar product is then put into wooden bins [...]