Every year, the Good Fruit Grower team looks forward to December, for a couple of reasons.

First, we love the opportunity to gather at industry meetings for the presentations and conversations that will set the tone for our magazine’s coverage in the coming year. And after the nearly two years of pandemic-driven pivots, I know I speak for our entire staff when I say we’re looking forward to seeing you this month. Our staff will be at both the Washington State Tree Fruit Association Annual Meeting and the Great Lakes Fruit, Vegetable and Farm Market EXPO, and we expect to learn plenty to share with you.

Second, each December, we present to you our special edition honoring a leading grower or family for their contributions to the industry. This year, I’d like to offer my personal congratulations to our very deserving Grower of the Year, Mike Robinson of Double Diamond Fruit in Quincy, Washington. 

Shannon Dininny, Good Fruit Grower, on April 25, 2019 in Yakima, Washington. (TJ Mullinax/Good Fruit Grower)
Shannon Dininny

When I first joined the magazine, our retiring editor, Geraldine Warner, made sure Mike was one of the first growers I met — and we’ve been learning from him ever since, thanks to his willingness to open his farm to tours and researchers and to field questions from journalists.

This issue is packed with insight from Mike’s varied and lauded career in the industry, along with stories about growers pushing the envelope in cherry, pear and apple production, new technologies and new young leaders in the tree fruit industry. 

With so much great content, we had to expand into a special section to feature Good Fruit Grower en Español. We launched our website, goodfruit.com/es, in 2018 with support from the Washington State Department of Agriculture, university researchers and generous industry leaders who gave both their time and financial support. In the past four years, we’ve built a library of hundreds of educational articles and videos on topics such as horticulture, pest management, technology and worker safety.

Going forward, while occasional stories will continue to be posted in Spanish, we’re shifting our focus to educational videos. This month, we’ve released the first two videos in a five-part series on crop load management. The conversation between growers Dave Gleason and Ofelio Borges takes viewers through the practical steps for managing crop load — and why it matters when it comes to ensuring top-quality fruit. 

Future videos are planned, addressing some key industry topics, including disease detection, new technologies and more.

Good Fruit Grower en Español isn’t intended to be a Spanish version of our magazine. Rather, we want the site to serve as a timeless educational resource, updated with new content that best serves the audience. 

As always, we look to you, our readers, to help us to know what information is most valued and needed. So, please stop by our booth at the shows and say hello!

by Shannon Dininny