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HOS closing down?
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NW Lady
Vancouver, WA
20 Posts
(Offline)
1
October 28, 2020 - 12:24 pm

I heard that the HOS is closing at the end of Dec.  Everything? Arboretum? website? 

How very sad! 

I know that covid has been disastrous for events/fundraising but hoping that some part of this organization can continue and bring it back to life when we can get past covid. Even if the website is all that can be saved, we would have a way to communicate with each other until things improve. 

Cry

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jafar
474 Posts
(Offline)
2
October 28, 2020 - 4:06 pm

Yes, its regrettable.  We're looking into the possibility of keeping the website and forum going for a couple years, and options to keep the Arboretum useful. 

Covid kind of brought things to a head, but there was a greater issue of just not having critical mass of leadership and the substantial volunteer effort to keep it going.  Many of the stalwarts who conceived and carried the organization are gone.  Those of us who remain were stretched thin, and don't have the wherewithal to keep it going.  Several have retired from the board, or needed to step down after this year.  Likewise for the key, non-board chair roles.

Our president, to whom I am deeply grateful for what she's done over the years, has carried an enormous load of the day to day work and can't do that anymore.  We hadn't been able to create a succession plan for continuity - we'd been trying for years, and looked at a number of options and made a number of appeals to membership in various forms.

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John S
1020 Posts
(Offline)
3
October 28, 2020 - 4:46 pm

There were numerous pleas to the membership to participate and volunteer.  There were many lengthy discussions among volunteers about what kind of continuation would be possible. As I talked to the president, we figured that a newer, smaller version of HOS would probably need to be created in a few years by younger people.  I urged her to try to see if this forum could be continued with any remaining dollars.  The last time I spoke to her, I hadn't heard a definitive answer. 

Sometimes when people realize that they have lost a great thing, they make efforts to find a way to create something that can serve that goal.

John S
PDX OR

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Reinettes
Lewis Co., WA
229 Posts
(Offline)
4
October 28, 2020 - 7:41 pm

This news is thoroughly disheartening.  The HOS has been such a vibrant and diverse society of individuals who love to grow and harvest fruit for their own use in a myriad yards.  I know that with the Covid-19 epidemic our worlds have been turned upside-down, but if only the HOS could "limp along" for at least a year-and-a-half until there is a functional vaccine available, and life can begin to return to normal.  I, among many others, would hate to see the demise of the HOS.  It's a great little society with a diversity of fine people from so many different backgrounds.

Is there any way to keep the HOS alive through the span of this "natural disaster"?  God knows it wouldn't be this severe if more people were rational, understood basic scientific principles and how disease spreads, and gave a good god-darn about the well-being of all those around them and just followed recommended scientifically sound protocols.  Have Americans really become that self-centered and uncaring?  

 ....My faith in the goodness and rationality and Christian empathy of those around me is beginning to fail....

Please forgive my misgivings about people.  I grew up as an idealist....

Reinettes

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Crankyankee
Connecticut
60 Posts
(Offline)
5
October 29, 2020 - 6:13 am

So does this explain why I cannot find a page to join the HOS?

Don

Zone 6a in the moraines of eastern Connecticut.

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DanielW
Clark County, WA
458 Posts
(Offline)
6
October 29, 2020 - 9:01 am

That's very sad.  I learned a lot from HOS, including grafting which I love doing and is the basis for my home orchard and its future.   It's the best resource for the home orchardist locally. 

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John S
1020 Posts
(Offline)
7
October 29, 2020 - 9:44 am

Don,

That may be why.  Our membership director resigned, after many years of outstanding service.  There just was no one who would step in and cover these volunteer positions.  Whatever arises in a few years will have to be a smaller, less volunteer dependent organization.  People don't really retire anymore.  Many people have had to take two jobs to replace their old, lost union wage job.  Corporate raiders and hedge fund operators have attacked retirement funds, so they hardly exist anymore.  Medical costs are so high that people can't afford to retire, even if they had planned to.  We're looking at a new, different kind of world.  Non-profits are suffering like this across the country.  People binge watch on their phones and play video games instead of gardening and volunteering.

John S
PDX OR

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davem
171 Posts
(Offline)
8
October 29, 2020 - 9:59 am

That is tough to hear.  I can relate, having been on the board of a nonprofit that very nearly folded.  I am hopeful that it maybe reborn in some form post-covid.

Regarding this forum, I don't know how much it costs to keep it going but it wouldn't hurt to share that info and ask if the forum members want to chip in to keep it going.  I have seen that done successfully in other forums.  And there is always the Facebook group option, although we might lose those who don't use Facebook.  But it is free.

I also take some comfort in the fact that all of you will most likely keep growing, grafting, exchanging scionwood, making new seedlings, etc. so most of the great orchard plants will still be growing somewhere nearby.  One of the lessons learned seems to be that we all need to be passing on what we've learned to younger people.

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Viron
225 Posts
(Offline)
9
October 29, 2020 - 10:05 am

It’s remained nearly impossible for me to believe that within the audiences of hundreds - thousands of seemingly grateful and appreciative attendees to our numerous events, there were not enough willing to keep the organization going for perpetuity. 

I had also noticed, after many years of participation, that the generous retirement benefits allowing our founders to both initiate and participate in such an organization were disappearing, and that those of my generation may not have the wherewithal to do the same.  

Having relocated to the East Coast of the USA, there are no comparable organizations.  I knew of three out West.  If this is the end of one, it’s more than a loss to residents of the PNW, it is a loss to humanity.  A “Life Member,” due to my contributions, this feels like a death, to me Cry  

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jafar
474 Posts
(Offline)
10
October 29, 2020 - 11:56 am

Crankyankee said
So does this explain why I cannot find a page to join the HOS?

Don  

Yes.

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Rooney
466 Posts
(Offline)
11
October 29, 2020 - 12:05 pm

davem said
...
...Re: this forum, I don't know how much it costs to keep it going but it wouldn't hurt to share that info and ask if the forum members want to chip in to keep it going. I have seen that done successfully in other forums. And there is always the Facebook group option, although we might lose those who don't use Facebook. But it is free.

Regarding that: Nothing is better than a home orchard society forum like this in that has zero adds, zero snoop-ware, for only the extra paid 300 dollars annually that it costs to replace lost add revenue.

I'm not trying to bash Facebook when I say what I said but I know what I know. Word-Press and Google Blogger are the only known possibilities of excluding our own identities through the extra annual fees.

Jafar: People will pay the 500 dollars required each year. I would easily recommend that somebody else offers to pay the administrator to keep the server bill paid and the upgrade packages going in order if they knew how much those part of the costs are. To me sharing experiences is fun, but not so with a Facebook add generated system. I won't because I can't have all the adds coming to my mailbox. Keeping extra mail away is worth ~500/year to me.

Thanks for your past involvement with the board, and also finding the right HOS.org administrators.

Reinettes: This live comic reminded me of what you said earlier of people. The voices of care giving people (ie. -George Bush -Barack Obama -Anthony Fauci) are real and the narrative is real;
https://www.insider.com/trump-.....ic-2020-10

Happy Halloween Cry !!

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Crankyankee
Connecticut
60 Posts
(Offline)
12
October 29, 2020 - 10:33 pm

Is there any public information about the HOS budget especially as it relates to the website? I am interested to know how much the hosting arrangement costs.

I'd also like to know if the HOS uses an online membership management software of any kind or is it all done by someone with a spreadsheet and mailing labels?

Zone 6a in the moraines of eastern Connecticut.

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DanielW
Clark County, WA
458 Posts
(Offline)
13
October 30, 2020 - 6:50 am

I don't know if it is still there, but the Ning network also used to work well as a forum for special interests.

I keep my garden diary on Blogger.  I don't know how that would work out for something like this with all members posting, but I have not looked into it.

I have read that wordpress does have social media options but I don't know how it works.

I don't use Facebook either and despite some things being solely on Facebook, I won't go that route myself. 

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Reinettes
Lewis Co., WA
229 Posts
(Offline)
14
October 30, 2020 - 4:51 pm

There are so many thoughtful, wonderful comments posted in the messages above.  We all love the HOS and the benefits of membership that we have accrued from it, and we all want it to continue as a healthy society.  What is to be done?  I'm afraid that I myself don't have answers...

I have been in similar situations before.  When I was in High School I founded a southeastern Michigan chapter of a national plant organization (with a few international members).  Despite how much it infringed on my school-work, the charter members voted me both President and newsletter Editor.  After a couple of years, I graduated from High School and moved to southern California.  Our Recording Secretary was elected President and served for a couple of years and was then replaced by another member who served as President from ca. 1982 to (?) the present?  For the first time, in the national publication of the society, the chapter was no longer listed.  Was this a case of the long-suffering President dying, or giving up?  Did the chapter dissolve due to lack of membership or interest?  

Some 23 years ago, or so, I took over as Editor of a botanical publication in southern California that seemed to be "limping along".  I was already overbooked and overtaxed in terms of my time and obligations, but I believed in the society, and I wanted to upgrade and improve the semi-annual publication.  At great expense, I managed to publish the couple of year's-worth of issues that I was responsible for before moving here to Washington state at my wife's insistence.

That has given me quite a perspective on smaller organizations and how/if they manage to survive.  Such organizations are usually founded by, and sustained by, one (--or maybe 2-3) individuals who have the profound interest in the purpose of the society and are willing to donate their precious time and effort on behalf of the organization.  All too sadly, when those devoted individuals can no longer "carry the load", there are plenty of people who appreciated the benefits of membership, but do not have the time, or interest, or ambition to keep the society alive....

That's often when a dedicated society dies.  

I really hope that this is not the case with the Home Orchard Society.

Reinettes.

P.S.--  Rooney:  Thanks for the link.  I bookmarked it so that my wife could also watch it.  I'm a great fan of "Absurd Humor" (such as Monty Python), but when the absurdity becomes this real, there is no humor to be found in it.  Unlike so many sites with rumor, hearsay, disinformation, or outright lies, the link that you posted is thoroughly factual.  My wife and I watched that slow-motion train wreck in real time.

Am I wrong in believing that modern-day children need a stronger education in civics, government, science, and critical thinking?  ...Oh, wait.  My best friend just sent me a link that shows a cute kitten walking on piano keys and my closest friends gave it a "LIKE". 

PPS. -- My wife and I also do not Tweet or "do" Facebook.  

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Rooney
466 Posts
(Offline)
15
October 30, 2020 - 10:24 pm

Reinettes: Thanks for your comment.
An hour ago I sent you a confidential PM having to do with my own insights of what's wrong with public opinion. So my own opinion of your opinion is that we are an inept society and that is the problem. The south Koreans are not so far removed from reality because they have had experienced difficulty more than many in our house. I just spoke with a friend in Alaska who already voted that still thinks the news is a hoax and indeed the comic relates well that it isn't.

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jafar
474 Posts
(Offline)
16
October 30, 2020 - 10:35 pm

Reinettes, I think your description of the arc of an organization fits the Home Orchard Society well.  

I'm hopeful that we'll be able to keep the forum going as we close out the organization.  The magnitude of the annual expense of the forum and website is close to what's been described.

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John S
1020 Posts
(Offline)
17
October 30, 2020 - 11:08 pm

Crankyyankee:

Stan was the membership director for many years. He just resigned. HE was just a regular old dude.

John S
PDX OR

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Crankyankee
Connecticut
60 Posts
(Offline)
18
October 31, 2020 - 8:37 am

Have the HOS newsletters been digitized and, if so, are they available for purchase?

Zone 6a in the moraines of eastern Connecticut.

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DanielW
Clark County, WA
458 Posts
(Offline)
19
October 31, 2020 - 3:49 pm

@crankyyankee, at some point (last year?) I offered to digitize old issues for the newletter, and was sent a box containing quite a few of the old issues.  I requested some guidance about what to do with them but I guess the person who sent them either didn't get my email or was too busy.  Or it went to my spam box, or theirs, or something.  Regardless, I'd still be happy to do that at a rate of, say, one or two a week but need to know what to do with them next.  I don't know what are potential copyright issues, which I don't want to be at risk of violating.  They could be posted on this forum as forum posts, or onto a blog format, or whatever my computer can do that my inexpert mind can handle. Smile

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Crankyankee
Connecticut
60 Posts
(Offline)
20
October 31, 2020 - 7:46 pm

>> I'd still be happy to do that at a rate of, say, one or two a week but need to know what to do with them next. 

Well, I would buy a copy for some nominal price 🙂

The rose hybridizers digitized their newsletter from the 1960's through the mid 90's (when they went digital) and put the compendium up on their website as a revenue generator thereby getting a second bite at the apple but, more importantly, making that knowledge base accessible to future generations.

You might find that OCR technology has quite improved, to the point where it is now very fast and requires little manual intervention. Improvements in camera technology have also added to this. You no longer have to use a scanner but can simply take photos and run those through OCR.

Moreover, there are a number of online OCR websites many of which are free of charge.

How large is the corpus, btw?

Zone 6a in the moraines of eastern Connecticut.

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John S
1020 Posts
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21
November 1, 2020 - 4:46 pm

Crankyankee you got skillz.

We might be able to make something work here after all.

John S
PDX OR

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jafar
474 Posts
(Offline)
22
November 1, 2020 - 7:29 pm

DanielW said
@crankyyankee, at some point (last year?) I offered to digitize old issues for the newletter, and was sent a box containing quite a few of the old issues.  I requested some guidance about what to do with them but I guess the person who sent them either didn't get my email or was too busy.  Or it went to my spam box, or theirs, or something.  Regardless, I'd still be happy to do that at a rate of, say, one or two a week but need to know what to do with them next.  I don't know what are potential copyright issues, which I don't want to be at risk of violating.  They could be posted on this forum as forum posts, or onto a blog format, or whatever my computer can do that my inexpert mind can handle. Smile  

We may be able to host them on this site.  Are you able to make PDFs?  We still details to work through with how to wrap things up.  I'm hoping that we can share the digital copies of Pome new publicly.  The purpose of HOS is education, so would be nice to share them as a legacy.

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Avella
La Grande, Oregon
3 Posts
(Offline)
23
November 2, 2020 - 9:26 am

I would be willing to contribute $50 to continuing the website/forum ... do I make the check out to HOS? send it to PO Box 12  Molalla, OR 97038?

I am also willing to contribute some time starting in March - and, if it could be worked out to meet online (zoom, google, etc.) serve on the reconstituted future Board.  Not young, though 🙂 .  (and yes, I responded to the request for support - and was told that online Board meetings was not a go). 

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Rooney
466 Posts
(Offline)
24
November 2, 2020 - 12:25 pm

Regarding yesterday: We may be able to host them on this site. Are you able to make PDFs? per Jafar //end of paste

If this site supports quarterlies going back 44 years then are there extra fees generated by Wordpress by the amount of files or file size?

The reason I ask is PDFs that display images are not small files. Then if the PDF has to render all undigitized text as an image then your asking this account to hold a huge weight of information. 50 pages x 44 years x 4 per year adds up fast because when using the undigitized imaged version of text into PDF format there is no reduction. When using OCR to digitize them (ie. characters) there are massive reductions.

I like your idea of uploading them here as a community service. I also think like said before that they should be digitized so that they can be word searched. Another idea is just simply filing the many quarterly uploads as individual files outside of the PDF format like the idea below so that each topic carries an ID that can be referred to in our posts when trying to help people.

Live sample;
https://www.w3schools.com/tags.....ref_anchor

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DanielW
Clark County, WA
458 Posts
(Offline)
25
November 2, 2020 - 12:55 pm

jafar said

We may be able to host them on this site.  Are you able to make PDFs?  We still details to work through with how to wrap things up.  I'm hoping that we can share the digital copies of Pome new publicly.  The purpose of HOS is education, so would be nice to share them as a legacy.  

Jafar, yes, I can make pdfs.  There is some stuff on the newsletter that might not be useful - events calendar and maybe some other stuff.  I can leave that off.  I think my scanner has a low resolution mode that would be lower memory and still allow for reading on computer or tablet.  I will see if I can get to them tomorow, and also my scanner to see if it is still working.  Some tech has a way of becoming obsolete without telling us, so I need to check on that before I get in too deep Smile  My main concern is if there is possible copyright infringement.  I don't want to risk that.  If I can get it to work, I can post a sample on the forum.

 

Edit:  I haven't looked at that box in probably a year.  Before I promise anything I need to see if I can find it.  Kind of embarrassing but when you live in a house this long, things sometimes hide. 

On OCR, that's way over my head.  Might be the perfect solution, but it's not something that I know.

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davem
171 Posts
(Offline)
26
November 2, 2020 - 1:01 pm

Re: scanning pre-digital newsletters - I just got a new all-in-one printer which has a dual-sided scanner with OCR built in (supposedly 35 sheets per minute).  If you have an all-in-one printer you might check to see if it has that capability.  And if not, like Crankyankee said, there are online services to do the OCR from image files.  

However I would need to de-staple the booklets to run them through the sheet feeder.  Making a pdf with the pages in the right order might be a bit tricky.  But I'm sure that is not a new problem and thus solutions must exist.

Regarding sustaining the forum, the other forum I referred to that is self-funded posts a plea for donations every couple of years.  Usually it takes just a few days to get enough donations to keep going for another couple of years.

Regarding sustaining a non-profit organization, one model I've seen used successfully is to solicit members to include the organization in their will.  Often this will enable the organization to hire (or provide grant matching funds for) an executive director who can take care of all the day-to-day tasks and help ensure that volunteers remain engaged and do not get burned out.

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NW Lady
Vancouver, WA
20 Posts
(Offline)
27
November 2, 2020 - 1:07 pm

I will gladly send a check for $100 to at least keep the website/forum going.  Tell me where to send it.  If we can just keep something alive... when we get past covid perhaps more can be added back in. 

 

I just retired last fall.  I was signed up to volunteer for the scion fair last march. ...alas... covid!!   Not sure if there would be anything I could volunteer for now that would at least keep the website/forums going.  I don't have any great computer skills.   Retired RN... that's all I got!!  

Digital quarterly mailing sounds like a great idea  for the present..... and the future if any of that would be possible.  

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DanielW
Clark County, WA
458 Posts
(Offline)
28
November 3, 2020 - 4:26 pm

I would also be happy to throw in a c-note on a check too.

I did find my box of Pome newsletters.  My first revisiting them is the oldest was the1994, Spring issue.  I don't know how complete the box is between then and now, but it has quite a lot of issues.  I scanned in the oldest issue.  The pdf is 53,926 kB.  That was at 300 dpi.  I left out a small number of pages if they were solely a planned or proposed event. I tried an online pdf to text program and I guess that file was too big, it didn't work.  That issue is full of treasures and info.  It really shouldn't go unshared.  The articles:

Stark Brothers 1910 Catalog

Improving the Natives by Lon Rombough

Breeding Seedless Grapes by Lon Rombough

Bat Facts by Joanie Cooper

Chestnuts in the Pacific NW by Robert Rackham

Asian Pear Pest Control by Robert Rackham

Questions by Gene Single

Organic Corner by Ted Swensen  (Nontoxic fungicides, Life cycle of powdery mildew, sowbugs, coddling moth, plant seedling too tall, centipede vs. millipede)

Slender Spindle Tree Training by Loren Millls

Ingraham Apple by Joanie Cooper

Antiques and Heirlooms by Joanie Cooper

The Lincoln Pear by Joanie Cooper

Book Review:  The Apples of Maine (Review by Lon Rombough)

King David Apple by Joanie Cooper

Ft Vancouver Apple Tree by Larry McGraw

Stoneless Plums by Lon Rombough

The Peach, Krummel October by Joanie Cooper

Gardeners Calendar

A Microwave Method for the Curious (Jam recipe) by Jim Cox

Correct Pruning by Vaughn Fosmo

Training and Pruning Asian Pears by Robert Rackham

I mistakenly thought the Spring Issue was #1.  The Winter Issue is #1.  I think I will go ahead and scan in the winter issue and if I have time, the other quarters for starters.

The forum wouldn't let me upload the pdf.  I can email the pdf if I have an address to send it too.  It is sideways, but my generic pdf reader has a flipper function that fixes that, so I assume others do too.  Also, it's actually easier to read than the actual paper - brighter when backlit and I can make it bigger for my eyes.  PDF can also be read on a kindle reader.  Not sure about a nook.

I will make a goal to continue scanning them as time and my scanner printer allow.  That way, if they are wanted they will all be available.  No promises on timing, but I'm still in isolation and don't expect that to change soon.

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Crankyankee
Connecticut
60 Posts
(Offline)
29
November 3, 2020 - 10:39 pm

The referee software for OCR is Omnipage. The standard version would do a bangup job once you get them scanned.

https://www.kofax.com/Products.....e/standard

My experience with Omnipage and OCR generally is that the higher the resolution image the more accurate the OCR transcription so keep that in mind as you set up your workflow. You can't have too high a resolution but you can have too low. Cameras are now much higher resolution than scanners. If you are careful, handheld 8 megapixel or greater cellphone photos work better than a scanner.

Tiff is best, PNG next best, JPG least best but acceptable if the resolution is high enough.                                   

Zone 6a in the moraines of eastern Connecticut.

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DanielW
Clark County, WA
458 Posts
(Offline)
30
November 4, 2020 - 7:10 am

All of these ideas sound like there is some potential.

I will wait until further input from Jafar before doing anything more.  I don't want an issue with copyright or trademark or doing something that is not approved.  I think it would have to come from people who represent the organization.  Im glad there is interest in saving those as a resource.

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John S
1020 Posts
(Offline)
31
November 5, 2020 - 2:54 pm

Good news!

I just talked to Joanie, the president. She said that this forum will not close down on Dec. 31st and it is likely that it would continue through 2021.  During that meantime, we can have discussions about moderators, webmasters, and who would do what, to find a way for it to continue.

She says there is no need to donate money now, or volunteer until we figure out the details.

John S
PDX OR

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jafar
474 Posts
(Offline)
32
November 5, 2020 - 7:29 pm

Yes, John, hopefully the HOS can pre-fund the maintenance for 2 or 3 years.  We'll have to see, I didn't want to make anything that might seem like promises ahead of working out some of the details - which are still to be worked out.

And BTW, the other site referred to is probably growingfruit.org  It was formed initially from the community that frequented Gardenweb's Fruit and Orchards forum before it was bought out and commercialized, and the usability was ruined. growingfruit.org  is the best run forum/site I've seen.

It is an excellent forum, very well run, full of insights and thoughtful people.  I've always viewed it as complementary to what we have here.  It's more nationwide, and a bit international.  Just a handful of folks from the PNW.

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jekahrs
81 Posts
(Offline)
33
November 5, 2020 - 8:14 pm

Very sad. This forum offers diverse data on unusual cultivars from some very educated and interesting people. Having been a President of the local amateur winemaking club for 3 years, I understand how difficult this can be. We had a membership crisis and eventually came out of it. My thoughts are rather then just redesigning the website, maybe this is an opportunity to reconceptualize the organization. Below I have some thoughts which I am sure have already been thought of from time to time, but I'm kinda of an idea person and I never shy from expressing my opinion. If I am an ass or redundant, you can slap me silly. 

1) I never saw goals for membership or money on this site. I might have missed this because I log on maybe once a month. I am also very dense, or like many people I am having some money/health issues at this time. If money and membership are needed for the group, putting this information on the front page via thermometer (For example) are easy ways to communicate this information. Also, I have never met anyone from the HOS even though I went to the fall fruit fair. And at the fall fruit fair I also never got a sense of the organization's status. 

2) In the wine club we have monthly meetings where we did a variety of fun and educational things (tasting wine and speakers) and socialized. Obviously with Covid that changes everything. However, the advent of Zoom has changed everything. Not only can any number of people be there for a meeting for lecture, you can also bring in national speakers for informative information. You can even have time to socialize online. It's very cheap. There potentially could be four in person meetings which growing fruit really cannot do because of it's non-local nature. Athe Portland Winemakers Club we recently changed our meetings from a winery (which was free due to a special sponsor) to The Grange, which does cost money. But we raised our dues to make it work. Make it more then informative; Make it fun and a social organization where anyone can join and participate.

3) Are there any links to other organizations which might attract members and potentially help offset cost in exchange for advertising on the website like The Hardy Plant Society, One Green World, Portland Nursery, and the Portland Fruit Tree Project?

4) Is there potential to look for future sponsorship and money from agriculture organizations and municipal organizations. As the organization develops into a consistent Zoom oriented model, people would become more involved.

5) Make the website a resource for information, so people "hit" the website constantly. That also helps with potential advertising for sponsors.

6) Does this means no fruit or scion fair? What happens to the orchard?

7) What can be learned from Growingfruit.org?

8) Why not set up a Zoom meeting for this particular issue (advertise it well on this site), where people and organizations can be asked for their input. I'd give some notice and make sure people see it. Like I said, I log on sporadically. Also, have a half hour before and maybe an hour after for people to socialize.

OK, there it is. My numerous ideas to save the world. You can thank me later after all the ballots have been counted...

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John S
1020 Posts
(Offline)
34
November 7, 2020 - 10:11 am

Great post, Jekahrs.

These are the issues that we are talking about.  CLearly, there will be tremendous change in what comes out of this challenge.  I am intrigued by what we could make.  The Portland Fruit Tree Project teaches grafting, as does One Green World.  I don't think anyone else does a scion exchange or other aspects of Fruit Tree Propagation Fair.  Portland Nursery has their limited apple tasting.

Yes, connection with and coordination with other organizations makes sense, as does the evolution through zoom.

John S
PDX OR

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NW Lady
Vancouver, WA
20 Posts
(Offline)
35
November 8, 2020 - 9:24 pm

Thank you, Jekahrs!  Great Ideas!

So very happy to hear that the website will continue.  Using iZoom in ways that have been mentioned is an excellent idea.  If various meeting used zoom, it would allow folks to might not otherwise be able or willing to participate as board members to take a position... be active in planning events, etc.

I saw the note that said no extra money is needed at this time and volunteer opportunities are TBD. 

Again, happy to volunteer

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katmendeux
6 Posts
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36
November 9, 2020 - 9:43 am

Hi, All,

I may have the rather dubious distinction of probably being the last person to join HOS, and I'm really, really sorry to hear about the problems. I'm not at all concerned about the dues. It's the "what might have been" that is sad. I've looked over the forum topics, for example, and there is simply no place else and no other source for these exchanges. I've got lots and lots of questions, and you very good folks are only ones who know this stuff.  I'd also really like to talk to "birds of a feather" about fruit. HOS seemed the perfect fit. It's good to hear the forums will continue, but I join with all of you who hope for a continuing HOS, and can invest some time in the group.

Here's my question -- what happened to the fall POME News. When I joined, I got the summer issue in the mail. Read it. Loved it. Waited for the fall issue. Since I didn't know when to expect it, I emailed the editor to make sure I hadn't missed it. He sent me a very friendly, welcoming reply on Oct 20. That was, what, three weeks ago? He said they were finalizing it, and would be mailing it late Oct - early Nov. Last Friday, I got a package with two older issues, which was nice. Sadly, I also got a letter saying HOS was going toes up. Is the fall issue still on its way? Otherwise, what happened? No money? No time? No help? A final straw? If the HOS can keep going, I think it's important to keep the quarterly alive.

Like some other people here, I've been a newsletter editor. To do all the work it takes to get a quarterly ready to go and then have it hit the compost bin is a shame. While we're thinking over long-term solutions, is there a way or a will to salvage that issue? Could the articles go on your website? If the issue is one big file, could it go to the Cloud? Years ago, I used Dropbox. Maybe something like that would work. I could look into it, if you think it would useful. I'm pretty geeky, even though I'm a dinosaur.

What's that quote from Mark Twain about reports of his death being greatly exaggerated? From some of the other posts on this thread, there may still be hope.

Best regards,

katmendeux

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Crankyankee
Connecticut
60 Posts
(Offline)
37
November 10, 2020 - 3:58 pm

Here is a web page for the Back Yard Fruit Growers out of Pennsylvania. They don't have a message board and the newsletters are password protected but it looks like they have a long history and are still active. I notice that they have a scion exchange similar to the HOS.

Maybe they would be interested in participating in an online venue.

https://www.sas.upenn.edu/~dai...../byfg.html

"Backyard Fruit Growers (BYFG) started in 1990 as a quarterly assembly for exchange of information among amateurs in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania who wanted to produce good fruit for the family, propagate heirloom varieties, try new varieties and flavors, and respect and improve the backyard environment."

Zone 6a in the moraines of eastern Connecticut.

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jafar
474 Posts
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38
November 10, 2020 - 8:02 pm

I believe the final edition of the Pome news was mailed Monday (yesterday).

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John S
1020 Posts
(Offline)
39
November 11, 2020 - 9:35 am

I have not yet received the last edition.

John S
PDX OR

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jafar
474 Posts
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40
November 12, 2020 - 6:24 pm

Mine just arrived today.  

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nholmquist
1 Posts
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41
November 13, 2020 - 10:36 pm

Hello, this is my first post to the HOS, although I have been aware of your organization for awhile and did attend one of your fall fruit festivals a few years ago. I wanted to bring up a few points as you discuss the next phase of HOS. I am a master gardener from Eugene, OR and have developed a strong interest in “fruits for the backyard”.

- To whomever suggested reinventing the organization, I would encourage you to do look at it. My impression of HOS is that it is focused on the Portland area, although its mission states PNW. Which are you?

- Personally, I am looking for the PNW version of the forum at growingfruit.org, with the panache of the forum at ourfigs.com. A place for active, online discussions about growing backyard fruit in the PNW focused on the opportunities and issues of our climate zone 8.

- I saw a comment made that there is no other local scion exchange. There is a very active organization sponsoring propagation fairs every year which used to be called the Spring Propagation Fair (https://springpropagationfair.com) and has transitioned into the Agrarian Sharing Network (Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/group.....4781013929)

- I really like the Lancaster County, Pennsylvania Back Yard Fruit Growers mission statement, it could be used as a model for a similar one for whatever area HOS reinvents itself to focus on (Portland-area, PNW-zone-8, other).

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katmendeux
6 Posts
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42
November 14, 2020 - 8:14 am

Hi nholmquist,

Great links! Lots to think about, and some good ideas about how HOS could re-invent itself.

Thanks.

katmendeux

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Jay
1 Posts
(Offline)
43
November 14, 2020 - 4:36 pm

Hi everyone.  I'm new to the forum, but my wife and I have been members of HOS for a couple of years. Just got the email yesterday about HOS closure, and just read all the above posts on this topic.

We are relatively new fruit tree growers (with a growing collection of young trees), experienced oyster growers, and generally interested in local food production. We live on the Oregon coast.

In addition, I have over twenty years experience as a software developer, Web developer, and webmaster, and currently maintain several Web servers.

We've learned a lot from membership in HOS, and we are very interested in seeing its work continued. Therefore, if no other solution has yet been found, I offer to host and maintain the website, the forum, and the newsletter (in electronic format, probably as a blog). I'm offering to do this at no charge.  Down the line, if the server expenses become more than I can cover, then maybe other folks will want to make voluntary contributions.  Also, I don't currently have the time myself to write articles or participate in forum discussions, but I can provide the tools for members to submit and publish content.

If you decide to go with my offer, I would need probably 3-4 months to get things set up on my servers, so hopefully in the meantime the current site can remain active.

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katmendeux
6 Posts
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44
November 15, 2020 - 10:31 am

Hi Jay and everybody,

Wow! What a remarkable and generous offer. Thank you. I (army of one) think we should sort out the details, work with the leadership, and find a way to get to yes. What do the rest of you think?

Still hoping to see the HOS rise like a Phoenix,

katmendeux

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jafar
474 Posts
(Offline)
45
November 16, 2020 - 9:19 pm

Jay said
Hi everyone.  I'm new to the forum, but my wife and I have been members of HOS for a couple of years. Just got the email yesterday about HOS closure, and just read all the above posts on this topic.

We are relatively new fruit tree growers (with a growing collection of young trees), experienced oyster growers, and generally interested in local food production. We live on the Oregon coast.

In addition, I have over twenty years experience as a software developer, Web developer, and webmaster, and currently maintain several Web servers.

We've learned a lot from membership in HOS, and we are very interested in seeing its work continued. Therefore, if no other solution has yet been found, I offer to host and maintain the website, the forum, and the newsletter (in electronic format, probably as a blog). I'm offering to do this at no charge.  Down the line, if the server expenses become more than I can cover, then maybe other folks will want to make voluntary contributions.  Also, I don't currently have the time myself to write articles or participate in forum discussions, but I can provide the tools for members to submit and publish content.

If you decide to go with my offer, I would need probably 3-4 months to get things set up on my servers, so hopefully in the meantime the current site can remain active.  

Thank you for the generous offer.  I'll share it with the board.

And to other folks with ideas and offers of support, I apologize, I'm not able to keep up with everything.  I'll try to circle back.

The organization is shutting down.  Let's focus first on what we can do with this forum/site.  If we maintain this venue, we can use it to discuss what sorts of things some of us may like to organize or do in the future.

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Heather Keisler Keisler Fornes
1 Posts
(Offline)
46
November 18, 2020 - 9:08 am

All,

I'm the Executive Director of Portland Fruit Tree Project and would be interested in talking to board members/leaders regarding if there is a way that PFTP can offer support or resources in this challenging time.

Please feel free to get in touch with me at heather@portlandfruit.org!

Heather Keisler Fornes

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John S
1020 Posts
(Offline)
47
November 18, 2020 - 1:53 pm

Heather: Thanks for reaching out.

katmendeux: I got my Fall Pome News a few days ago.

Nholmquist: The activities vary from Canby to Oregon City, Milwaukie, to Washington County.  Members have been from many places. Tours have been all over the Willamette Valley. It really depends on where we can get volunteers from.  As you probablly know, half of OR's population is in the Portland area. Agrarian sharing network is very different from HOS. Scion exhanges in CA don't count. 

John S
PDX OR

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jafar
474 Posts
(Offline)
48
November 25, 2020 - 8:03 pm

Jay said
Hi everyone.  I'm new to the forum, but my wife and I have been members of HOS for a couple of years. Just got the email yesterday about HOS closure, and just read all the above posts on this topic.

We are relatively new fruit tree growers (with a growing collection of young trees), experienced oyster growers, and generally interested in local food production. We live on the Oregon coast.

In addition, I have over twenty years experience as a software developer, Web developer, and webmaster, and currently maintain several Web servers.

We've learned a lot from membership in HOS, and we are very interested in seeing its work continued. Therefore, if no other solution has yet been found, I offer to host and maintain the website, the forum, and the newsletter (in electronic format, probably as a blog). I'm offering to do this at no charge.  Down the line, if the server expenses become more than I can cover, then maybe other folks will want to make voluntary contributions.  Also, I don't currently have the time myself to write articles or participate in forum discussions, but I can provide the tools for members to submit and publish content.

If you decide to go with my offer, I would need probably 3-4 months to get things set up on my servers, so hopefully in the meantime the current site can remain active.  

Jay, I'll send you a PM with my contact information.  If you are still willing, let's talk.

If you don't have access to the PM, you can use the contact form at the top right which will get routed to our president, and she'll give you my personal contact information.

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katmendeux
6 Posts
(Offline)
49
November 30, 2020 - 9:24 am

Jafar,

Could you please update us as to where we are at now?

Will this forum survive? So far, other posts have showed a great deal of interest in keeping it going. We are now one month from the HOS shutting down, and we (forum fans, HOS membership) have no specifics.

You have said that you are busy, and I understand that dealing with this is not top of mind. Frankly, these are not tasks that anybody enjoys. However, we are running out of time. As we have all seen lately, transitions take time. So far, we have heard that the board is working on it, or that we could do this or that, or that one idea or another might be do-able. Or that sometime, down the line, something or another might happen. Sounds good, but will any of it happen? What's the plan?

Thanks.

Best regards,

katmendeux

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John S
1020 Posts
(Offline)
50
November 30, 2020 - 11:32 am

Hi Kat,

I already mentioned in this thread that this forum will continue, probably through the next year at least, and we are working on how to continue it after that.

JohN S
PDX OR

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Reinettes
Lewis Co., WA
229 Posts
(Offline)
51
December 4, 2020 - 3:33 pm

Smile

Apparently, there are a number of us in Forum-land who are not only interested in the continued existence of The HOS Forum, but are also trying to understand why there seems to be a hurry to bring the Home Orchard Society itself to its demise.  Were finances teetering that precariously?  

Undoubtedly, the Covid-19 epidemic (--for those who know that it's REAL--) has for the time being annihilated the two major money-making HOS public events in 2020.  At the current rate of progress regarding a vaccine, these two public events which help to bring in important funds for the society probably could not be held safely even in 2021, given that so many selfish people have no interest in protecting themselves or or those around them.  That being said, are there sufficient funds to keep the HOS on "Life Support" for another year-and-a-half until there is a "normalization" of life on Planet America?  It seems to me that it would be much easier to retain and put the HOS on ice for a time, rather than trying to reconstruct a comparable organization from scratch once the dust settles....  

Those of us who aren't involved in HOS Board meetings don't really know anything about what is discussed and decided upon, or the rationales presented for said decisions.  I just know that the impression that's being gotten "out here" is that the HOS Board is tired and ready to throw in the towel.

Any insights from the Core of the organization would be tremendously appreciated....

Respectfully, 

Reinettes.

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jafar
474 Posts
(Offline)
52
December 4, 2020 - 9:08 pm

Reinettes said
Smile

Apparently, there are a number of us in Forum-land who are not only interested in the continued existence of The HOS Forum, but are also trying to understand why there seems to be a hurry to bring the Home Orchard Society itself to its demise.  Were finances teetering that precariously?  

Undoubtedly, the Covid-19 epidemic (--for those who know that it's REAL--) has for the time being annihilated the two major money-making HOS public events in 2020.  At the current rate of progress regarding a vaccine, these two public events which help to bring in important funds for the society probably could not be held safely even in 2021, given that so many selfish people have no interest in protecting themselves or or those around them.  That being said, are there sufficient funds to keep the HOS on "Life Support" for another year-and-a-half until there is a "normalization" of life on Planet America?  It seems to me that it would be much easier to retain and put the HOS on ice for a time, rather than trying to reconstruct a comparable organization from scratch once the dust settles....  

Those of us who aren't involved in HOS Board meetings don't really know anything about what is discussed and decided upon, or the rationales presented for said decisions.  I just know that the impression that's being gotten "out here" is that the HOS Board is tired and ready to throw in the towel.

Any insights from the Core of the organization would be tremendously appreciated....

Respectfully, 

Reinettes.  

It isn't funds, or just Covid.

We don't have people involved enough to attend and contribute to the Board meetings and activities, let alone run them.  There's an enormous amount of work that goes into running the organization as it was defined. 

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Rooney
466 Posts
(Offline)
53
December 4, 2020 - 11:18 pm

What probably best describes the HOS organization is of one that started out 45 years ago. What sold were Pome news stories that editors donated that probably(?) started and lasted the full length (45 yrs) of time.

Subscriptions for Pome might have been what keeps the organization from competition. THAT said: The forums began in [ 2004 ] to what it is today and still to be going forward with full expertise. Wisdom and generous people that edited the many Pome news stories, and somewhere in the early history of this computerization proliferated per the universities inventing of the first internet browsers, we too attribute on the heels of this new inventions ...a 16 plus year tenure. this in-its-self; a solid way to keep this organization from competition or fake news (ie. by those wishing to sell something).

I am not a board member, however think of Jafar (and others who are board members) is suggesting a very smart move of declaring that volunteerism (in order to keep the original concept of organization together 45 years ago) is to admit the past Pome is over. ...A new ground zero (ie. HOS.org).

We love a good site and this is really great and a more enjoyable way for the experienced volunteers to share more of it. As long as this place remains (as it has) policed by never allowing for adds.

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Viron
225 Posts
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54
December 5, 2020 - 1:50 pm

With my decades of HOS participation, this feels tragic, though not unpredictable..  Having attended Board Meetings, the formality felt archaic.  Following an organizational structure that did not change, it took years for this ‘online forum’ to catch on, and due to the lack of adequate funding or attention, constant attacks to the platform had shut it down (notice there are two).  

Perhaps the organization's overall demise was inevitable.  I knew well the core people, those with pensions affording them the time to keep this going.  The newly retired, enthusiastically pursuing a hobby with a cadre of the same.   At least half I knew are gone, and as I’d mentioned before, economic pressures have limited the same opportunities for subsequent generations.  

I’ve always viewed the society's projects as cumbersome.  I watched thousands of young participants enthusiastically utilize the organization's events and programs, assuming the ‘membership dues at the door’ was surely enough to keep it going.  Apparently, it wasn’t.

With that, though personally distant from the bulk of our core Willamette Valley members, I’d love to see a streamlined, event orientated, modern version replace the current one.  This could/ would allow ‘the next generation’ to establish, by building upon or moving beyond the foundation of the HOS - a vigorous cyber presence, with opportunities and projects generating the most interest to participants not owning acreage and looking for a comfortable hobby - but focused on growing all they can on the land they’re allotted.

I see no profit in it, but enough interest to create a streamlined organization with far less formality, more ‘portability,’ relatable to modern living and capable of fostering an on-going interest in small scale orchard activities & small lot utilization.  Most importantly, new ideas, and the ability to advance them.  I know not what … but having watched hundreds stand in line holding or herding their squirming children while enthusiastically watching their ‘future orchard’ grafted in front of them long assured me - they are there!  

Longtime members not mired in formalities would be encouraged to pass on their knowledge and experience.  Younger members feeling they lack orcharding expertise may contribute their enthusiasm, knowing that something, no matter how scattered or disorganized - would/ will be better than nothing Wink

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Reinettes
Lewis Co., WA
229 Posts
(Offline)
55
December 5, 2020 - 5:39 pm

jafar said

It isn't funds, or just Covid.

We don't have people involved enough to attend and contribute to the Board meetings and activities, let alone run them.  There's an enormous amount of work that goes into running the organization as it was defined.   

By God, Jafar:

I know all too well from previous experiences exactly what you mean.  I can still feel the exhaustion in my bones and psyche from earlier efforts on behalf of organizations that I truly believed in and wanted to see fostered.  I've been there and I know how much work is done by those few people who contribute countless times more than any others in an effort to maintain a vital, educational, helpful organization.  Not only does a strong interest have to be there among the organization's members in order to maintain the society, but those devoted individuals have to also be truly knowledgeable and willing to invest their own time and efforts toward the success of the society.  

Failing such fundamental "ingredients", there is no way for an organization to survive.  

Supposing that "the slate" is wiped clean.  That is to say,... our beloved HOS ceases to exist.  From that standpoint, is there sufficient interest locally to re-initiate a comparable organization?  Perhaps by "local", I should say Cascadia.  Our climate is unique in the continental U.S., and there are definitely certain types of plants and cultivars which will thrive here and others which will not.  By Cascadia I mean that portion of North America west of the Cascade Mountains in western Oregon, western Washington, and southwestern-most British Columbia, Canada.  This is a region with its own climatic and cultural "funkities".  On the other hand, the people who contribute information may be from a diversity of places outside this zone.  Experienced, knowledgeable people often have very useful information from their own life experience which may be appropriate not only to fruits growing in this specific region, but also to fruit growers in other regions.

Perhaps my view of the HOS is a bit skewed by being a member of The HOS Forum and finding fruit growers from not just this country, but also the occasional queries from a few other countries.  Inquisitive folks looking to successfully grow some bush fruits, or fruit trees, for the first time are usually just looking for some very basic information in the hopes of success.  On the other hand, the activities of the HOS are very basically local.  When you're globally online, the name of "Home Orchard Society" may, perhaps, suggest something that we're not.

Despite the important history of the HOS during its founding and early history, perhaps a society born out if its shadow should seek to somehow distinguish and/or refine itself such that it is focused upon what does well within "Cascadia" while still being a society accessible to the broader public of those newbies wanting to begin to cultivate fruits....

Stupid, isn't it?  Isn't that roughly what we've been?

Well, guess what:  I'm throwing this out for comment.  ...And as my wife will tell you, I'll toss all kinds of things "out there" just to get some kind of response, or ideas, and something other than apathy. Smile

Thoughtful comments very much appreciated.

Reinettes.

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Reinettes
Lewis Co., WA
229 Posts
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56
December 5, 2020 - 5:48 pm

P.S.,....

Jafar:  I simply must apologize to you personally for making you the object of my enquiries.  I fell upon you because you seemed to be the only member of the HOS Board who was also present on the Forum.  I may or may not have mentioned this before, but I just feel quite bad about it because you shouldn't have to act as sole spokesperson for all of the HOS executive members of the HOS.

Please accept my apologies which I offer humbly to you.

Reinettes.  

[I checked.  There is no appropriate emoji.]

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Reinettes
Lewis Co., WA
229 Posts
(Offline)
57
December 5, 2020 - 6:31 pm

Viron,

Your posting clearly had what I think are very important, salient comments.  When you say that you saw the potential demise of the HOS coming, was that the voice of learned experience?  

"The formality felt archaic."  

Was that a mindless adherence to "Robert's Rule of Order" in the absence of any real proposals and plans?  Formulaic meetings for the sake of having a formal meeting when nothing is actually accomplished is certainly all for naught.

"I’ve always viewed the society's projects as cumbersome. I watched thousands of young participants enthusiastically utilize the organization's events and programs, assuming the ‘membership dues at the door’ was surely enough to keep it going. Apparently, it wasn’t."

Viron:  I'm curious about what you meant by "cumbersome."  Were the Society's events (--which clearly required a heckuva lot of volunteer help--) basically not paying for themselves?

I won't "copy" your additional comments down here, but you obviously have very specific thoughts and ideas in mind in regard to the HOS's past and potential, relative to what it could be or what it could have been.  

You may be on the East Coast, Viron, but, given your history back here with the HOS, your thoughts and inputs are certainly valuable and desired.  Are those of us HOS members back here on the West Coast shedding tears over a beached whale that cannot be saved? Frown

Reinettes.

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John S
1020 Posts
(Offline)
58
December 5, 2020 - 8:16 pm

Joanie, who is the president, has mentioned that she thinks a new organization will start up in place of HOS with younger people, who maybe have younger ways.

John S
PDX OR

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Viron
225 Posts
(Offline)
59
December 5, 2020 - 8:45 pm

What I recall of the board meetings ..twenty years ago, were stifling and stagnant.  Encouraged to step up, those few exposures were not inviting or promising.  

...a mindless adherence to "Robert's Rule of Order" in the absence of any real proposals and plans?  Formulaic meetings for the sake of having a formal meeting when nothing is actually accomplished is certainly all for naught.”  

Absolutely; a sadly accurate description.  

I was never deeply enough involved to know if our events were paying for themselves, though the logistics appeared daunting, if repetitive..  In some cases, it felt so institutionalized that I doubt anyone felt they had anything to offer.  While we volunteers were numerous, enthusiastic and knowledgeable, Newbies appeared both impressed and overwhelmed.  

For many years I’d considered myself the ‘youngest long-time member.’  I’d inherited my Great-grandfather & Great-uncle’s homestead and orchard at age 24.  Having witnessed grafting as a child, I was hooked!  In charge of their ancient orchard, I did my homework.  Arrived at my first HOS event one year where I took a ‘computer quiz’ ..and got all but one.. and could have argued a bit over that one.  Marian Dunlap welcomed me to the HOS, I have her card in my HOS file…  

Hauling my young wife ..or a bag of cheese burgers to our yearly picnics on a motorcycle kinda stood out, but walking someone's orchards had me picking the brains of our best.  Eventually holding events at my own place, back in the day of our regional Chapters, where I was an active board member ..were heady times Wink

As I eventually found several useful niches, what I felt regarding the formality, even ‘personal turf’ of the main Board was not inviting nor appealing.  The feeling I had was, little is going to change until several of these members move on..  

I’d earned and was awarded a ‘Life Membership,’ something I continue to honor.  I had long ago declined receiving the Pome News; though having contributed several articles, felt it was something that should be published online ...as to me, that’s where the future was headed. Instead, it was held out as ‘a reward of membership.’  

Baring myself, this has mainly been a group of retired land owners excited by a fascinating hobby.  Though it expanded, I can’t say it evolved..  Main members appeared to hold on to their favorite parts, ignoring, even shunning newer ideas.  Having worked hard to see this online platform succeed, emerging from a high school students project and donated time, I feel it’s neglect exhibited an inability to progress that’s plagued, if not ultimately doomed the organization.    

It’s tragic that this pandemic is what appears to have done in the organization, or Society.  Had these concerns been addressed, or closure threatened in ‘better times,’ the multitude of thankful participants from our yearly events may have come to the rescue.  Allowing it to apparently limp on, with few knowing it’s precarious condition appears to be what’s ultimately allowed this collapse..  

..or, all were simply as comfortable ‘doing their own things’ as I was, with no intention of donating more time, and unwilling to challenge the way things had always been done.  Though it’s as difficult a time as many can remember, perhaps this is an opportunity for everyone to put on their thinking hats, learn from perceived mistakes, and truly allow ‘new blood’ to lead us to a streamlined, modern organization looking more to fill the needs of the many, as opposed to we few.

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John S
1020 Posts
(Offline)
60
December 6, 2020 - 10:04 pm

I have been in communication with the new Home Orchard Education Center, Portland Permaculture Guild, the Agrarian Sharing Network, and Portland Fruit Tree Project to try to piece together some remnants of how to continue with the projects that can be continued. There were many enthusiastic,  interested people who responded.  I believe that we will continue this online forum, and set up the other activities under different organizations, with some of the same but mostly different, younger people.  Many of the programs will necessarily be smaller.  

Volunteer organizations nationwide have been hammered nationwide as people don't really retire anymore, the life expectancy is dropping, and health care is so expensive that people work until they are 88, dead or unable.  Then they can't really volunteer. Many young people hardly leave the inside of their buildings anymore.  Most of their recreation seems to be online. It may take a while for them to realize what they've lost.  These are larger demographic patterns that we can't really control.  Some of the comments about organization being stilted are accurate, but that didn't do it alone. 

It's kind of like when people say "Portland housing is too expensive because it's run by evil Democrats". Well, every large coastal city in the US is run by Democrats, they are all popular places to live and they all have expensive housing, so pay attention to the large patterns as well as the particular ones.  I believe that if we look to help, we will find ways to continue serving and helping people learn how to grow fruit successfully at home.

John S
PDX OR

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davem
171 Posts
(Offline)
61
December 7, 2020 - 6:33 pm

Re: volunteering, I am on the board of a nonprofit and I don't really see a strong correlation between volunteer numbers and being retired or not.  People like to follow their passions, devoting whatever time and resources they have available, be it a little or a lot.  Retired people tend to do a lot of traveling (i.e. gone a lot) and often volunteer with multiple organizations.  Thus they may or may not have more time available to volunteer for something new than when they were working full time.  But retired people do seem to have much more flexible schedules (assuming they are not traveling).  Also it seems like there are a few retirees who are super passionate plus have a lot of time, and thus skew the statistics in terms of hours :-).

I was going to speculate about decline in volunteerism over time but this page says that is not true in Oregon: https://public.tableau.com/en-.....sm-america

Re: young people getting outside, I agree that starting in middle school many young people (mostly boys) get pulled into video games (I like to call them "plug-in drugs").  But most of them come through that OK.  I submit as evidence the number of people in the following FB groups:

  • PortlandHikers 20,100
  • Hiking in the Pacific Northwest 96,400
  • Portland Audubon 108,000 (likes)
  • PNW Foraging And Wild Edibles 14,600

Now certainly these groups are not just for young people, but looking through the photos posted there, the majority seem to be.  Or maybe it is just the young members who take photos of themselves...?

Re: HOS demographics, it seems like a significant portion track with the population of Oregon farmers, whose average age is 60, up from 55 in 2002.

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John S
1020 Posts
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62
December 8, 2020 - 3:40 pm

That was quite an intriguing post, Dave M.

Percentage of volunteering hasn't changed much, but the state of Oregon has become much more urban over that time.  People are getting married later, and many activities that were automatic, now require us to do the work, as in travel agents and stock brokers. Way more people are living in condos and townhomes.  Access to farming, nature and agriculture is decidedly less.  They may be volunteering more for Trump or BLM, than for HOS. 

The listings of people in the outdoor organizations are interesting.  When I was young, I seemed to encounter a lot more people who actually went hiking and went on bike trips.  I am still a member of may outdoor organizations and we keep asking ourselves, "If we have 400 members, where are they all?" Most of the hang glider pilots and whitewater kayakers seem to be older than 50.  Younger people don't seem to have the patience to learn a skill over time.  I keep finding this in other gardening groups too.  It seems that they "identify" as gardening/outdoors enthusiasts and look at the instagram and facebook posts a lot.  To them, that is participating in the outdoors. 

It can explain why our diabetes, alzheimer's and obestity rates keep skyrocketing, along with our declining life expectancy.  Watching videos of hiking doesn't get you into shape. Watching cooking competition shows doesn't improve your diet. 

John S
PDX OR

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davem
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December 8, 2020 - 7:31 pm

<apologies for rabbit trail>

I asked the google about spending on outdoor recreation, here's what it told me.  Source: https://www.bea.gov/data/speci.....recreation

These are arranged in order by $ spent on that activity.  HOS would fall into "Productive Activities".  Here's 2012 (ignore indenting, I deleted the summary rows which had things indented under them):2012.jpg

Here's 2019.  Productive Activities actually went up one slot.

Let's see, if we were marketing wizards and were following this same ranking, HOS might pursue

  1. Trendy or practical HOS-branded clothing (row 3)
  2. An airbnb room in your house with a view of your orchard (row 4)
  3. Self-guided home orchard tours (row 5)
  4. Items for sale that remind me of this experience (row 6)
  5. Food and Beverages (row 7)
  6. RV-friendly driveway or overnight spot (airbnb for your RV?) (row 10)
  7. Well-known band at the All About Fruit Show.  Or summer outdoor concert in your orchard. (row 12)
  8. Professionally-guided home orchard tours (row 19)

Sorry John I don't see hang gliding (maybe row 34?).  And kayaking is second from the bottom.  I bet SUPing would be up fairly high.  Again this is $ spent, not number of participants, so an inexpensive outdoor activity might be popular but would fall farther down this list.  Also this is for the entire country, not just Oregon.

2019.jpg

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jafar
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December 8, 2020 - 7:37 pm

I'm glad to see the engaged conversation here.  Sometimes I'm hesitant to jump in, if I only have a few minutes, don't want to give it short shrift.

I'm not offended being asked questions about what's going on.  I am a Director (for a few more weeks) and I am the one here.  It can be frustrating, we're doing our best - trying to wrap things up properly.

We don't meet frequently, communication is more difficult for us with Covid, we're not all very technically savvy, to put it mildly - and there are a number of moving pieces.

I also try to find a balance between sharing information, but also not speaking out of turn, and try to avoid speaking "for the board" if it isn't something the board has addressed directly.

Yes we generally used Robert's Rules of Order, and much of the structure and methodology was dictated by the bylaws, most from the founding 45 years ago.

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Reinettes
Lewis Co., WA
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December 10, 2020 - 8:10 pm

I so very much appreciate all of the thoughtful comments provided above.  I've read them and re-read them but I find myself unable to respond to all of the great comments individually.  Although I'm saddened by it, I'm finally ready to cry "Uncle" and accept the apparently evident demise of the Home Orchard Society.  Just like we, ourselves, can't be forever:  everything has a lifespan.  Nevertheless, it's always sad to witness "the end".

In the preceding postings, there are many poignant and salient comments which may help to guide the way to a future organization with similar foci and objectives.  Apparently, such an organization will have to arise organically based upon local interests and needs, as well as the interests and concerted efforts of individuals, just as is the case with any new organization.

We can't see what may come to be, but I hope that it will be driven by the same kind of interest, energy, enthusiasm, and dedication of individuals such as those who originally brought the HOS into being.  Without that kind of spark and determination, an organization can only be an empty shell.  

Smile  Here's to a hopeful future!!!  May your gardens and orchards thrive!  Keep sharing your knowledge and observations with each other!  Inspire your friends and neighbors with your knowledge and assistance!  Enjoy the fruits of your own humble labors!  Our joy is in the doing, the dedication to fostering our plants, and to reaping the fruitful benefits of that loving care.

Reinettes

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