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:

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 [...]

Schlect: Elections aftermath

● Greg Walden (R/Oregon) should be happy today. The chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee sheparded his flock of candidates to a significant national victory in yesterday’s mid-term election. However, the delegation from the Pacific Northwest did manage to stand pat, with the only change being in the [...]

Cover blog: Fall of insights

Our November 2014 cover was shot by Yakima photographer Lance Johnson.

Schlect: Cherry Street

● The Produce Marketing Association has hired a new team, Cornerstone Government Affairs, to represent it in Washington, D.C. Hunt Shipman will be the main contact for Cornerstone with PMA, for what is being called “Issues Management.” Mr. Shipman and his colleagues, such as my friend Vernie Hubert, have sterling [...]