And there’s so much more to discover about our activities. Come join us
in our efforts to learn all we can from one another, share plants, have fun,
and just do our small part to help keep Fox Island beautiful!
For any questions please contact: John Reese 253-549-2160
Sept.11, 2014 Welcome back
Oct. 9, 2014 Field Trip
Nov. 13, 2014 - "A Summer of Tomatoes" by Hal Goodell
Dec. 11, 2014- Holiday party and gift exchange
Jan. 8, 2015 Joint mtg. w/Fox Island Garden Club, speaker TBA
Feb. 12, 2015 "plant profile" & sharing
March 12, 2015 "Orchids" by Lan Altman
April 9, 2015 "Fuchsias" by Sharon Miller
May 14, 2015 field Trip -Lakewold Gardens
June 11, 2015 -Summer Plans
$10.00 Membership fee.
Contact: John Reese 253-549-2160
Anyone with an interest in gardening is welcome.
SAND & SOIL MEMBERS
IN THE SPOTLIGHT
To let our Fox Islanders have a peek at the uniqueness of each of our
gardeners, every month we are interviewing one of our members. We are
surprising ourselves most of all. Wait until you discover what we’re finding
as we scratch the surfaces of the fertile field within our membership.
HAROLD "HAL" GOODELL JUNE 2011
is Sand & Soil Garden Club’s "go-to" man for tomatoes and how to nurture
them. But his life encompasses so much more, as you will see. He was born in
Olympia and grew up in Puyallup, WA. Interestingly, the 1908 house he lived
in was part of one of the first nurseries in the Puget Sound area. The
remaining filbert orchards were part of his playground, along with a huge,
multi-pronged cedar that he used as a "rocket ship." After a huge storm blew
his "ship" over a few years ago, he counted 100+ rings, indicating that it
was likely planted around the time that the house and nursery were
Hal’s father worked as a cattle rancher in North Dakota
for some years, returning to Washington in 1941, where he worked at lumber
mills, among other crafts. Hal remembers the family always having a garden,
noting that soil-rich Olympia was a plus for raising vegetables, and, of
course, tomatoes. Hal does not consider himself a gardener, per se, his main
interest being tomatoes, and he always raises them from seed. He doesn’t
collect seeds, stating that it is so inexpensive to buy them, which also
allows him to easily experiment with new and unusual varieties.
Hal has two small greenhouse "laboratories," where in
early spring he can observe and nurture his new plants, getting them ready
to transplant into larger containers for friends, and especially the annual
Fox Island plant sale in early May. He is very proud, and rightly so, of
contributing 150-plus of a variety of tomato plants to the sale, for the
benefit of the Fox Island Garden Club, FICRA, and our Sand & Soil Garden
Club, all organizations whose activities include working to help maintain
the history and beauty of our little island. His favorite tomato, by the way
is Stupice, for its tastiness, medium size, and being prolific throughout
the summer. The bane of his existence as a gardener?: cold springtimes and
summers (tomatoes need lots of heat), slugs that eat his beans, and he can’t
seem to grow zucchini. Oh well.
Beyond all of that, however, Hal has made his mark in the
world starting with his activity as a ham radio operator since he was 15
years old, which then piqued his interest in electronics. He holds a B.S.EE
from the University of Washington (HUGE Huskies fan!) which took him into
the then Boeing aerospace program, now space and defense. At Vandenberg AFB
in California, he helped develop the Minute Man missiles, AWACS surveillance
aircraft, the last 26 years of inertial upper stage surveillance satellite
development. As a licensed ham operator and a member of the American Radio
Relay League, Hal has credit for contact with the current 340 recognized
countries in the world (all but five at present). He has two 125-foot
antennae and one is 40-foot, which he still climbs "often," but emphasizes
that he practices safety first.
Then comes his MOST favorite activity: golfing. He says
that this gives him treasured time with Annie, his wife and fellow Sand &
Soil gardener, and gives them both time for walking and exercise. He
describes himself as "curious, and a good troubleshooter and problem
solver." His practice is to live well and be kind to everyone, and if you
know him, you know that’s our Hal!
JOHN REESE MAY 2011
John is a native of Crookston, Minnesota, but it didn’t take him
long to find us here on Fox Island. He lived in Crookston through high
school, then joined the U.S. Air Force for four years. When he returned
home, a friend told him that he had work lined up for him in Seattle, which
brought him to our fair shores. It wasn’t that simple, however, as the job
did not materialize. He stayed, anyway, and found work with Western
Electric. After a succession of jobs, mostly electronics, and working at
Boeing for a while, he completed some college work in the meantime. He even
worked as a commercial fisherman in Alaska for a while.
Somehow, this all led to a college degree in forest
management, and he worked with ITT’s soils program, mainly as a researcher,
but during the Carter years, he was part of an enormous lay-off. What did
our stout-hearted friend do? He became a real estate appraiser until he
retired in 2010, and now can leisurely enjoy traveling to see family and
friends, fishing, and gardening, when he’s not helping his daughter with her
young children while she’s at work.
When asked what he most likes about gardening, he states, "I just like to
grow things." He remembers that his parents always rented space for their
gardens. He named traveling, growing tomatoes, fishing, and babysitting his
grandkids in the same breath, however, and is currently not sure which has
the priority, but wants to be more involved in the Sand & Soil Garden Club
this coming year. In fact, he is scheduled to make a presentation on "Soil
Preparation" at our February 2012 meeting.
John is a recent widower, but he and his wife, Kathy, enjoyed working
together in their spacious landscaped yard and garden. She was a loved
member of Sand & Soil, and that’s actually how we got to know John. He looks
forward to having the regular give and take that our membership offers him.
He likes to learn, and to help others learn, which is what we’re all about.
He says he’s still trying to figure out what happened to his raspberries. He
planted them, had an excellent crop the first year, and the next year they
were DEAD. Ouch! (Stay tuned to hear the rest of this story; just visit one
of our meetings.)
John describes himself as a "people person" (did I tell you he used to breed
and raise fancy pigeons? and was a boy scout leader for many years? Is there
anything this gentleman hasn’t done?) We know him as a quiet, fun person,
who’s loyal to his family. His philosophy is conservative. He feels that
people should work for what they have, exercising responsibility and
accountability, and contributing their talents for the good of the
community. When asked if there was anything else he wished to add, he said,
"I miss Kathy."
JOAN BROUGHTON APRIL 2011
Joan met up with Sand & Soil Garden Club at the Fox
Island fair only two years ago, but she likes being active, and her
participation in many of our group efforts are much appreciated. She
describes herself as dedicated, loyal, and kindhearted, and our members
would certainly agree. She is a retiree who now can do what she wants, when
she wants, and how she wants, and is enjoying every minute of her rather
newly defined lifestyle. She retired from the Port of Tacoma customer
service department after 25 years, and doesn’t miss it one bit.
Joan grew up in the Black Diamond and Enumclaw area of Washington. She says
her mother loved flowers, and liked to grow them from seed, especially
begonias. Joan always liked helping her mother, and fondly remembers
gathering supplies for her to plant and assemble her Memorial Day baskets.
Her grandparents always had big gardens, which are often the inspiration for
our gardeners of today. She describes her mother and aunt canning fruit and
vegetables by the half-gallon, as they had extended family living with them
during her youth. Joan, herself, enjoyed canning for many years.
Springtime is Joan’s favorite aspect of gardening; she says it makes her
happy, makes her smile, to see all the fresh new growth and blossoms. She
forgets about the various stresses of daily life when she is in her garden,
and simply enjoys the tasks before her as she nurtures her plants and keeps
her plots "weedless." We’re not kidding about that. She doesn’t allow weeds
past her garden gate.
Joan doesn’t claim a favorite plant; well, maybe luscious lilacs, or roses
(when the deer don’t eat them). She does feel she has a special touch with
rhododendrons and clematis, however, and feels that they would really go
crazy if she didn’t keep them in check with dedicated pruning. The only
aspect of gardening she could think of that she dislikes is seeing daffodils
and other flowers die and having to let them be, until the appropriate time
to cut them back. The garden "keeps her moving," which she does appreciate,
and seeing the results of her efforts gives her a satisfying feeling of
In Joan’s "idle" time, she does some sewing and crocheting for her
grandchildren, and, believe it or not, great-grandchildren. We have a
feeling they will also benefit, as they grow, by learning the joy of
gardening from her.
BARBARA SCHULTZ MARCH 2011
Barbara has been a part of the Sand & Soil scene since 1986. She
is "almost" a native of Washington, having grown up on a farm in Chehalis
from the age of three. The family farm included nearly everything one can
imagine being part of that setting: pets and working animals, a pond, kids,
and, of course, always large gardens. The depression was in full swing, and
Barbara’s family depended upon the products of their garden and the forests.
Her father was one of a group of families who founded the small community
they lived in, having brought his family from Illinois to settle here.
Barbara professes a love for "nature and living in nature,
nurturing growing things and children." She has concentrated her efforts on
container gardening, and has a wide variety of planters to complete her
garden pallet. She fears that she has sustained some serious losses from the
wild temperature swings Fox Island has experienced this winter, but takes
that in stride, as any farm-raised "country girl" would. What aspect of
gardening raises her ire? Slugs! We won’t describe here Barbara’s methods of
contributing to their demise. Her favorite plant, rather recently, is a
golden bamboo that she installed as a privacy hedge. She says it is
particularly beautiful as it waves in the north wind crossing her
This club member has lived here since 1958, only four
years after the island bridge connected us to Gig Harbor; however, her late
husband Bob’s parents arrived long before that. They bought the little
Tanglewood Island in 1933, known then, and for some years afterwards, as
Grave Island, by native Indians. They built the roundhouse and lighthouse to
be used as a boys’ camp.
Barbara, and Bob, a computer expert, raised five
daughters, who have given them five grandchildren. She and her husband were
charter members of the Fox Island Yacht Club, and her children were "raised
on our 40-foot ketch," named The Solution. They sailed extensively,
participated in hydroplane races nationwide, and were national champs four
times in the "6 liter class." She states that she didn’t come to boating
easily, for years pretending that there wasn’t "anything below the surface
of the water." That isn’t all that has kept her busy through the years,
though, with sketching and watercoloring, sewing (a lot, including her
daughters’ wedding dresses and countless bridesmaid outfits), and horseback
riding among her hobbies. All that and keeping a full-scale garden, too.
Barbara describes herself as "determined" with whatever
she’s interested in. She went on to add: she loves and cares about others,
is somewhat shy, and has a comic nature. Her philosophy: "Do the best you
can, and forget the rest...and fly over the rainbow." The rainbow part is
difficult to put down on paper. You’ll have to ask her about that, and this
writer hopes you will. It’s a beautiful thing. We’re really glad this
determined person, one of the most active (what else?) in our group, chooses
to be with us.
DOREEN SAMUELSON FEBRUARY 2011
This ebullient, happy woman came a long way to join the Sand &
Soil Garden Club. She was born and raised in Salisbury, England -
"Stonehenge country," according to her, but didn’t arrive on the shores of
Fox Island until 1972. It took her a little longer to find her way to Sand &
Soil in 2007. The likely reason? She is one busy lady: owner and proprietor
of the Beachside B&B, an inveterate worldwide hiker for more years than she
knows, world traveler, a knitter belonging to the Fox Island "Nitwits,"
aspiring gourmet, family gatherer, and, of course a gardener.
Doreen’s Scottish father was one who showed her the joy in
gardening. He gave each of his seven children their own plots and seeds, and
taught them how to design and care for their spaces to grow what they liked.
It was a family thing. Besides her roses, she claims a juniper tree placed
near her dining room window as the favorite item in her current garden, and
has pruned it up so she can see the beauty of its trunk as well. She feels
her garden is a place she can search her soul for peace, and says that five
hours can pass before she knows it.
Doreen claims no notable achievements as a gardener, but
tells of many "failures," which have taught her more than anything in her
years of effort to beautify her surroundings. When asked if there is
anything about gardening that irritates her, her prompt reply was "moles."
She has a spacious greenhouse where she nurtures the soil and plants her
favorite vegetables. Alas, the moles have discovered what a wondrous place
this is, and pop right up inside as they make their way along the rows,
making hills and creating air spaces around roots and ruining her plants.
Also, because her property is right on the water, she must choose plant
types and locations carefully, as the saline tidewaters will ruin some
Most people are unaware that Doreen’s husband, Pastor Dick
Torgerson, is a Sean
Connery look-alike and sound-alike, who for years has often been hired
to work around the country taking on the persona of the master spy, James
Bond, for special events. Recently, he has taken fewer "assignments," but
continues to perform occasional weddings in his real-life role as a pastor.
Doreen describes herself, in a word, as HAPPY: she
appreciates that she has a wonderful life, a great large family, she lives
in the U.S., on Fox Island, loves our group, has the best lot of friends,
loves to travel the world, and says, what more can she ask?. She likes to be
around people, loves to chat, does her best to follow the Golden Rule, looks
for the best in others, invariably looks on the bright side of any
circumstance, and refuses to be a negative person. Are we blessed to have
her as a member, or what?
Sand & Soil Garden Club gives the Fox Island cemetery a new face.
In June 2010, the club members completed their revision of the front garden
of the Fox Island cemetery. The club voted in late 2008 to propose to the
cemetery board that it be allowed to take on the project. Permission was
granted, and planning started in 2009 to correct a visual traffic hazard for
persons entering and leaving the cemetery driveway, and to beautify the
site. The berm was re-graded and newly planted with low bushes and perennials
to enable drivers to watch for approaching traffic. Members of the club, and
teen volunteers from our island churches are volunteering to help the
cemetery board keep the site weed free.
The Sand and Soil Garden Club initiated this project in June, 2009. The
club has maintained the cemetery flag pole garden for years and felt that
the existing landscaping needed to be renovated, as it had been neglected.
The club presented a proposal to the FI Cemetery committee to renovate
the entry landscaping that runs parallel to the road. The Cemetery committee
approved the proposal and agreed to provide partial funds for accomplishing
Sally Cross provided a design layout of the renovation. Which included hardy
Tam junipers in a zigzag pattern across the front, Barberry shrubs at the
ends and near the flagpole, and daffodil and gladiolus bulbs mixed in for
color throughout the spring and summer.
The renovation was begun in the fall of 2009 and completed by the
spring of 2010. Mike Campbell volunteered to provide and operate a back hoe
to do the heavy work of removing the old shrubbery and spreading the
Club members and their spouses provided the manual labor to remove
roots and weeds, roto-till the area and plant the junipers, Barberrys and
bulbs. Additional Daffodil bulbs will be planted this fall.
A Golden Barberry was planted at the south end in honor of long time Fox
Island resident Jeff Feagin. Jeff loved the island and nature and had a hand
in many community organizations that shaped the island’s identity.
The Sand and Soil Garden Club will continue to help provide year round
maintenance to the area as a club project for the coming years. We hope all
the Islanders enjoy the much improved Cemetery entrance.
The Sand and Soil Garden Club would like to provide special thanks to the
following who supported and helped in this project: