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Jafar: Damages?
Lewis Co., WA
375 Posts
June 22, 2020 - 4:30 pm

Dear Jafar,

I'm truly sorry to put you on the spot, but as near as I can tell you're the one HOS member who is active on the site.  I've been worrying about the financial damages to the HOS given the current coronavirus situation.  The cancellation of the springtime scion exchange and the resulting impact of not being able to hold it had to have had a profound effect on moneys brought in (--let alone the opportunity to potentially bring in new members).  

As a member of the HOS Board of Directors, can you give us any information on just how seriously our current global situation has impacted the finances of the HOS?  The scramble to try and compensate for the cancellation of the scion exchange, was noteworthy for the effort, but my fear is that it has probably had a profound impact.  That, along with the fact that coronavirus cases continue to increase and (--for all we know--) may still be increasing as we all go into the autumn and into the realm of the much-coveted "All About Fruit Show".  

Since you're on "the inside", can you give us any insight into what potential plans there may be that have been discussed in the Board meetings.

The Home Orchard Society is such a great organization with so many wonderful volunteers and so many benefits, I am concerned about the overall impact of this pandemic on the activities of the organization.

Any insight that you might be able to provide as to the Board's future plans would be very much appreciated!

With all due respect and admiration,


Lewis Co., WA
375 Posts
June 22, 2020 - 4:35 pm

....Meant to say only Board Member.

Any further typos I'll leave to the reader to extrapolate what I meant.... Smile


622 Posts
June 24, 2020 - 2:20 pm

That's a good question.  I don't mind being asked directly here (did have to check that "jafar' is my handle here though).  Thanks for asking.

Independent of the Corona virus disruptions, the Home Orchard Society's ongoing balance sheet is strained, and the board is working through how to raise income and limit expenses. 

Then there are the challenges that come with the Corona Virus.  The extraordinary efforts by our President and Arboretum Manager to sell scions and fruit trees generated some significant income - better than we would have anticipated, although not replacing our Propagation Fair, our biggest source of annual income.  We also were refunded our deposit for the venue, also significant at our scale.   One of the things that is more difficult to quantify, is missed opportunity to sign new members and for members to renew their annual membership.

We also benefited from a generous donation from an individual, to help sustain the Arboretum this year in light of the disruptions. 

We need to do a better job of connecting with people who would be willing to donate, bringing the opportunity to their attention, and making it easy to execute.

There is a link on this website home page to make a donation via Paypal or mail.  I wonder how many people realize that.

So in summary, we are not at risk of folding this year.  We may have to make some significant changes going forward.  Ideally they would involve bringing in more income, but could also manifest in reducing what we are able to do and make available.


80 Posts
June 24, 2020 - 7:52 pm

What about contacting commercial agricultural associations? Having urban people "farming" helps people understand the agricultural issues better.

Jackson County, OR (Zone 7b/8a)
34 Posts
June 30, 2020 - 3:41 pm

There is a link on this website home page to make a donation via Paypal or mail. I wonder how many people realize that.

Jafar, regarding the donation button, we can certainly make that more prominent.

One idea is include it towards the top of the website and include some message as to why donations are needed and other pertinent info like HOS' financial goals and how much has been met towards that goal. Then on the donation page we could include even more details as to reasons to donate, goals, etc. Have you ever seen Wikipedia's donation call to action? It is prominent at the top of the page and includes some facts as to why donations are needed, such as a brief overview of hard costs that can't be met through volunteer work and a reminder of the important service that is being offered to the community. We could do something similar.

Another suggestion would be allowing visitors to choose whether their donation is one time or recurring.

Lewis Co., WA
375 Posts
July 5, 2020 - 4:45 pm


Thank you very much for your response.  I'm sorry that I haven't gotten online in about a week-and-a-half in order to respond more promptly.  I know that many businesses and organizations of every sort are feeling the fiscal effects of this relatively unforeseeable situation.  So many things hang in the balance for folks of every ilk, and the daily, weekly, monthly uncertainties are taxing oh-so-many people.  

I'm sure that many HOS members would love to make contributions, but at the same time are wondering about their own finances and security.  I'm glad to "hear" that, so far, HOS is "hangin' in there".  There are no easy outs while the pandemic continues, but I hope that more people will take it seriously and follow the protocols and procedures recommended by medical experts so that we can bring the pandemic under control.  I simply can't comprehend the behaviour of those who refuse to follow instructions which would help us to get past this situation.

Thanks again for the update, Jafar.  I appreciate it.  We may very well be dealing with this situation into 2021, but we need individuals to cooperate.  

As a member of the HOS Board who is also a member of the Forum, I hope that you will keep us apprised of any plans or decisions made by the HOS Board which may affect the organization's future.  I'm sure that those members who can will do their best to keep this great organization afloat.  

Cordially,  Reinettes.


Please, folks:  This might be your first global pandemic, but if you want to get through it you need to follow the recommendations of competent medical experts!  The politicians do not have your best interests in mind.  Pandemics have never been partisan.

622 Posts
July 7, 2020 - 10:18 am

I'll try to remember to say something here as we make significant changes.  We may also communicate on the Website's home page.

The primary communication vehicles for announcements and such are the quarterly Pome News that we mail to members, and occasional email blasts that may go beyond members.

84 Posts
August 11, 2020 - 10:36 am

Perhaps, the HOS could build and sell some trees?  Got any trees for sale, now?

There are apple types in the Orchard, that cannot be obtained commercially anywhere around here.

I for one, would like to have an Orlean's Reinette, and a Grimes Golden,  a Chojuro, and a Hudson's Golden Gem.

Been wanting to try Cornish Gilliflower, interested in Hoople's Antique Gold.

Doesn't sound that exotic.    But when you go out looking, you don't find them in commercial nurseries around here,

and I am reluctant to shell-out in advance for unseen trees, shipped from afar.

Was looking forward to this Year's exchange.  Would have been my first attendance, in a number of years.


So, how much does the HOS need, to balance the books?

622 Posts
August 18, 2020 - 1:47 pm

Thanks for the suggestions.  This years' finances are not bad.  The more immediate concern is leadership and energy from members.  

Covid has added a number of challenges, but even on top of that, the board is under strain.  Our president has sent out an appeal letter for members willing and interested to step up and sustain leadership.  We'll see what sort of response it yields.

John S
2593 Posts
September 30, 2020 - 4:05 pm

As Jafar said, finances arent' the problem.  Finding active people willing to participate in leadership positions to complete the work is the problem.  Those of you who are members have received the request in the mail.  The big difference will be how many people rise up to answer the call to help out.

JOhn S

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