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Farm walk to feature orchard production

PUYALLUP – Walk through an early spring organic orchard and learn effective marketing techniques for a variety of fruit. Dennis and Nancy Nicholson will share their expertise in direct marketing and running an on-site seasonal fruit stand which features their pears, apples, cherries, peaches, raspberries, grapes and preserves along with neighboring farms’ fruit.

The Nicholsons are third-generation orchardists committed to providing nutritious, fresh food. Of their fifty acres, ten are certified organic, ten are in transition, and the remaining are conventional. “It’s more of challenge to grow organic because the orchards need to be sprayed more frequently and it takes more overall work,” said Nicholson, who plans to eventually transition all his acreage.

“A lot of our decision to go organic has to do with the water in the Peshastin Creek,” Nicholson said. “It’s a salmon-bearing creek and we grew up playing in it. We want to keep it clean and keep it safe for our workers and our family,” he added.

A grafting demonstration will also be featured during the Farm Walk. Professional grafter Mike Hampel from Grouse Mountain Farm will cover many aspects of orchard grafting and budding.

The farm tour is Monday, April 14 from noon to 3:30 with lunch from noon to 12:30. The cost is $10.00 for Tilth Producer members and $15.00 for non-members. Register on-site or pre-register by mailing a check to Tilth Producers, PO Box 85056, Seattle, WA 98145. Beverages provided. Brown bag lunch recommended.

Nicholson Orchards is located in Peshastin at the intersection of Campbell Road and U.S. 97, the Blewett Pass Highway. Campbell Road is 1.7 miles south of the Junction of U.S. Highways 2 and 97. For complete directions to the farm visit www.ourorchard.com.

Details about all Farm Walks for the 2008 season are available at www.tilthproducers.org.

The farm walk is jointly sponsored by Tilth Producers of Washington and Washington State University Small Farms Team.

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