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What now that HOS is no longer active? Suggestions for resources for new home orchardists, How to grow more food
What to do now to start your home ochard on a shoestring budget? Future of Scion Exchange and tasting events? Future of rare heritage varieties
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7 Posts
August 29, 2021 - 9:43 am

Greetings all...

I was saddened to see that Home Orchard Society is no longer.... But I was so happy that at least this forum is still available. Thanks to you all who have volunteered for society, it was great.  I loved going to the annual tastings and scion exchanges and classes and I shall miss it. Does this Forum Have a wanted section, I was not able to find it? 

I am hoping to get input on what to do now I am hoping you can help with catching up us folks who have been out of the loop for a while. I have been out of the country for some time due to Covid closures.  But this topic has always been on my mind - How to grow more food on a shoestring budget? Since I will be coming back to a different time in the world, I want to be up to date on my websites so I can ramp up my Orchard and food growing. It's been a long time since my active master gardener days and active seed saving and seed trading days the websites and forums some of which are gone or have changed or I can't even remember anymore LOL. I am working on a list of resources for myself and home food growers for which I am sadly not up to date on anymore. Thanks in advance if you can help. 

Where to send new gardeners for resources websites etc to grow more food on a budget?

Where would you start?

Is this site doing wanted a varieties section on here? 

Similar Events in PNW or other areas?

Your favorite Groups/Forums/Website/FB Group/ etc for scion exchange, cutting exchange, bare-root exchange and tree seed exchange trades etc

Thanks so much for your help, I appreciate your time.

Vancouver SW Washington
656 Posts
August 29, 2021 - 10:17 am

There are many regular people here such as myself that offer a limited views on our experiences. What I mean by limited is that, for example, I have carried and aided asian pear (aka nashi, japanese round pears) research for the longest time from then retired Peter Svenith of his year 1996 -180 seed starts forwards. He started this on Vashon Island as a PNW thing. 

On cherry grafting, health and graft compatibility, I also started this going forwards after another educated person, the late Lon Rombough (MS). Also examples of cherry types and tasting are also interesting in all my adventures and I am signed up for a new extremely crunchy sweet cherry from another program this fall. 

Others have given up on apricot but there's one last hope on another topic I started on that front. 

But this site is not hosting any kind of other references of what we can do. One has an externally linked web site under his icon. The rest of us have not filled out our resume on our HOS profiles yet. Maybe after the site starts ways of referencing more partnerships we will start filling in our resume.

In the mean time it's just topic by topic; so what kinds of seeds are your referencing? For gardens?

7 Posts
August 29, 2021 - 12:17 pm

Thanks for the update. I will figure it out and see what the world will be without HOS. I am interested all food garden/orchard but for this forum say tree seed. I have raised pawpaws before from seed,  and have received trades of nut and persimmon tree seeds.

So just wondering,  Are some of the home orchard education resources archived somewhere for history? Like education, fruit tasting winners over time and important articles? I always thought the home orchard society would be active forever especially during these strange times. 


NE Portland, OR Cully Neighborhood
212 Posts
August 29, 2021 - 1:46 pm

The Home Orchard Education Center occupies the Home Orchard Society Arboretum site on the grounds of Clackamas Community College. The continuing manager, Tonya, was able to gather an active board of directors and wrangle a new nonprofit status, and continues to add and teach classes, hands on. On site.  If you’re nearby, that is readily a strong resource for materials and skills instruction. Costs for workshops or classes are a little higher, as the support from the major fund raisers of the Home Orchard Society went the away.  I’m sure scion wood from that collection will continue to be available..  it was last winter, I might assume they’ll be attempting something similar this next.

The Temperate Orchard Conservancy also has an extensive collection of apple scion wood. Nick Botners collection mostly resides there, plus finds from the lost apple project, sent for identification, then propagation if turning out to be noteworthy. Also some names from the apple repository in Geneva N.Y.     Joanie and Shawn from the Home Orchard Society I.D. Team are pretty much chained to the Annex there, from about before now thru at least the end of February doing I.D on the weekends and whenever else they can steal time from their supporting jobs, and maintaining the place.

Both organizations charge a fee per stick + postage to support their work… both are not profit making ventures. They are both .org, so their names spelled out with no spaces followed by the .org will get you to their websites. Contact information will be there and descriptions of what they are doing, focus and mission statements.

.    That may help you with your search for heirloom apples. Both these organizations have tight ordering windows so if interested, it’s probably best to familiarize yourself with the process and prospects in advance.

7 Posts
August 29, 2021 - 4:14 pm

Thanks so much for the update, that's awesome. I have added their information to my bookmarks. I appreciate that and I am glad to know there is continuing work and the Arboretum is still open and that are places to still get answers to questions and still working with the rare varieties, that is helpful. Much appreicated.

78 Posts
August 30, 2021 - 6:01 pm

>> I am signed up for a new extremely crunchy sweet cherry from another program this fall. 


A quick look at the HOEC shows an upcoming plant sale, September 18th, 2021 from 10am-3pm. "Up for grabs will be a unique selection of fruiting trees, edible plants, & beneficial perennials....many plants in the sale are "only children".

I'd go except I'm eight hours away as the crow flies.

The Temperate Orchard Conservancy is planning to sell scions this year which I think they cancelled for 2020(?). "Orders for 2021 will only be accepted from December 1st, 2020 through January 31st, 2021. " Potential scion list is here:




Zone 6a in the moraines of eastern Connecticut.

7 Posts
August 30, 2021 - 6:14 pm

Great Thanks for the info, I see 2 of my favorite apples which I need to plant when I get back. And I have marked my blank planner for winter ordering of scions. I am 24 hours away as the crow flies until late winter 2022. 

Vancouver SW Washington
656 Posts
August 30, 2021 - 8:36 pm

Just for crankyankee: I meant a breeding program at Cornell; But in case you need to try the crunchy cultivar where you are you might try here:

Prunus avium 'BlackPearl®'

Around Washington these cherries and the rest of them, being commercialized are mostly sold out. The farmers that are destroying cherry acreage due to little cherry virus and are the first to get and are displacing supplies. We are forever here to help our western society try to find adapted cultivars and this one is not quite known for crunchy for true rain induced split resistance yet. I reserved for two last year for this spring.

John S
2564 Posts
August 31, 2021 - 5:51 pm

There is a GRIN office in Corvallis for the Germplasm repository.  They are all over the country. It just depends on what you're trying to grow. 

I like the site "Growing Fruit" as well as "", which is a permaculture site that covers growing many kinds of growing food.

I think that eventually a younger, more urban and tech savvy group will start a more streamlined version of Home Orchard Society.

There is a local message board called Portland Permaculture Guild that talks about many of these issues and they are on facebook, as are many groups.

To subscribe, I think it's

John S

7 Posts
September 2, 2021 - 8:04 am

Thanks John, 

I hoped you would reply, I appreciate the update on resources. Right on, I will check them out and if you remember any other resources, that would be great.  I sure hope there will be tasting and scion exchange gatherings through other organizations.  I have to see what survived without care (I have been gone a long time) and finish planting out the orchard at the mini-farm. I am looking to grow good-tasting fruit that requires little care. I remember you helped Kip move my Gravenstein to his place because the texture and taste was not like my Grandpas and I didn't have room for something I didn't love. I still feel the same, it's gotta survive and it's gotta taste good. 


Thanks so much.....

Vancouver SW Washington
656 Posts
September 2, 2021 - 8:47 am

I think you might try sampling my selection of pear that had it's first roots in Vashon Island that I said earlier. George Barton whom many know here dries pears and evaluated this selection known as 2-2-40 from that island. Dried pears lose lots of weight and easy to mail for you to finish evaluating even though there's no other dried pears to compare. Mine are done drying out. This is an ungrafted tree that produces so many that the only options to organically control the codling moth is using a one push onion chopper and knife to halve each fruit for inspection of the maggot. You can PM an address for yourself if wanted. 

So it's easy to one step slice without getting stuck in the cutter like regular asian pears do. But we need more opinions. Ornamentally this is very handsome with deep green shiny leaves. You can PM me the address if you like.

7 Posts
September 2, 2021 - 9:33 am

Thanks so much. We will be back this winter or early spring and will be in touch then. 

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