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Workshop aims to boost West Side orchards


By STEVE BROWN



Capital Press



OLYMPIA -- Orchardist Gary Moulton will discuss establishing orchards and growing healthy tree fruit during a workshop 9 a.m.-5 p.m. April 6 at Washington State University Thurston County Extension, 5033 Harrison Ave. NW, Olympia.



Moulton, with WSU's Mount Vernon Research and Extension, will also cover irrigation system setup, thinning and pruning techniques and harvest methods.



Participants interested in cider production or growing apples, pears, cherries and other tree fruit will learn about rootstock and cultivar selection, orchard layout development, soil fertility management and integrated pest management.



The workshop is geared toward operations and fruit processors wishing to learn more about the needs and challenges of tree fruit growers in western Washington, said Lucas Patzek, director of WSU Thurston County Extension.



"The workshop was organized, in part, to respond to a growing interest in apple and pear hard ciders," Patzek said. "There are 10 commercial cideries in Washington state, six of which are located west of the Cascades."



Registration -- at www.brownpapertickets.com/event/357848 -- costs $70 and includes the workshop, morning refreshments and lunch.



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