Tag Archives: Washington State University

R.B. Tukey Orchard: Fruit Picking

The boys with their cherry haul, July 2009, Tukey Orchard

One of the best summer things to do here is to go fruit picking at Washington State University’s organic orchard, the R.B. Tukey Horticultural Orchard.  Today was the first day of the year it was open for picking (strawberries) so I know summer is finally here!

Cherry picking

Look around campus for signs that say “WSU Fruit Sale” and you will know the orchard is allowing people to pick.  You can also get on an e-mail list that will inform you of additional opportunities to pick – I think there are some times when there is not a lot of fruit, so they only send out an e-mail  and do not post a sign.

My favorite time of year is cherry season (these photos are from cherry season last year).  Any of the tree fruit picking days are excellent for kids, too. (Not so much with the berries, which are delicate.)

The fruit is amazing! It is organic, fresh, and really flavorful.  It is generally priced at about the same or slightly less than you would pay for conventional fruit at Safeway.

The orchard is located by the Moscow-Pullman airport and Palouse Ridge golf course.



Filed under Nature and Outdoors, Pullman Washington, Things to Do, Washington State University

Charles R. Conner Museum (WSU)

A Cougar... Probably the only way we'll see one!

I took the boys to the Conner Museum on the Washington State University campus this morning.  Very worthwhile!

The Conner Museum has lots of dead stuff.  The variety is impressive (though make no mistake, this is a small collection) and the displays and collection are high quality.

The history (from the website):

“Conner Museum traces its beginnings back to 1894, when Charles R. Conner, president of the Board of Regents, persuaded the state of Washington to donate its exhibits from the Chicago World’s Fair to the fledgling Washington Agricultural College. Those first exhibits were a mixture of several disciplines including anthropology, geology, biology and, of course, agriculture. Over time and through the influence of successive curators, the museum’s theme gradually narrowed and focused on vertebrate animals. Today the museum’s exhibits display over 700 mounts of birds and mammals and the scientific collection used by researchers houses over 65,000 specimens.”

One of the coolest things about the museum is the table of stuff the kids can touch.  We took full advantage of this!

The museum is located on the first floor of Abelson Hall, in a few different rooms (just follow the signs).  It is open seven days a week from 8 AM to 5 PM, except on holidays or other times when the buildings on campus are closed. Admission is FREE, but the museum could really use donations, so drop some money in the donation box if you can.  There is no specific parking lot.  We parked at a meter in front of Daggy Hall on College.  It was $1.50 for an hour. I was afraid parking was going to be a pain, but it wasn’t.

From there, it was a short walk to Abelson.  The boys had a great time running up the stairs.

Abelson Hall

We also saw the famous Bryan clock tower and took the obligatory photo.

Bryan Clock Tower

Finally, on the way back to the car, we stopped at every mound of snow (leftover and totally icy) that we could see.  I only mention this because the boys would have been happy doing this for hours, and it was great because there are no cars to worry about- maybe when we get bored this winter we can wander around campus kicking at snowpiles?


Filed under Culture, Free, Pullman Washington, Washington State University, What to do if it is snowing

Ferdinand’s Ice Cream Shoppe (WSU Creamery)


Last week we made a trip to Ferdinand’s, the ice cream shop of the WSU Creamery, which is a good spot any time of year.

Running to the entrance of Ferdinand's

Running to the entrance of Ferdinand's

Ferdinand's sign

Ferdinand's sign

One of the best things to get is a latte, which uses milk from the creamery and is really cheap (I think around $1.50).

Ferdinand's Front Door

Ferdinand's Front Door

From the website: “Ferdinand’s Ice Cream Shoppe, Washington State University’s gourmet ice cream shop, features old-fashioned ice cream and soda fountain treats, exclusive ice cream flavors, gourmet coffee and espresso drinks and of course, award winning Cougar Cheese.”

Fresh ice cream

Fresh ice cream

My favorite: Apple Cup Crisp!

My favorite: Apple Cup Crisp!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirl in A Waffle Cone = Heaven

Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirl in A Waffle Cone = Heaven

The cheese counter

The cheese counter

Cougar Cheese is made at WSU and is surprisingly good (I am surprised mainly because it comes in a can, which is not usually the mark of a fine cheese – but really, it is excellent).  You can buy cans around town, but I think Ferdinand’s is the only place you can buy the smaller portions, the curd, and the cooking cheese.  This is good because the cans have 2 pounds of cheese – which is a LOT of cheese!

Cougar gold cheese and cured

Cougar gold cheese and curds

The Cheese Cooler

The Cheese Cooler

You can also buy WSU Honey, and Cougar Gold nachos.

WSU-Produced Honey

WSU-Produced Honey

Cougar Gold Nachos!

Cougar Gold Nachos!

After you have your ice cream, go up to the Observation Room where you can see the cheese and ice cream being made.


Looking over the Cheese-making floor


The WSU Creamery offers educational tours, and a cheesemaking shortcourse.


Door to the Observation Room

Door to the Observation Room

Ferdinand’s is located in the Food Quality Building on the WSU Campus, 2 blocks east of the New Biotech/Life Sciences building. It is across from the Indoor Practice Facility.

It has a bathroom with changing table, a highchair, and a water fountain.  It also has an outdoor seating area.

Park at the parking meters.  Do not park on the street unless you want a ticket (trust me on this one!)

Outdoor seating area

On the wall is the illustrated story of Ferdinand the Bull:


Part of the story of Ferdinand

The website gives this version of how Ferdinand’s was named:  “The most popular story is that in 1938, the Washington State College Dairy Products Judging Team was trying to earn money for competitions. There was a student on that team, Rune Goranson, whose middle name happened to be Ferdinand. Also in 1938, the Disney short film “Ferdinand the Bull” was released. All this was too much to ignore and the judging team sold ice cream sundaes to raise funds and named their sales booth “Ferdinand’s”. Ferdinand’s Ice Cream Shoppe opened its doors on September 24, 1948 in Troy Hall and remained there until 1992, before moving to its current location in the Food Quality Building.”

Ferdinand’s is open Monday through Friday, 9:30 to 4:30, but check for special hours (like holidays and game days), check the website:


Cans of Cougar Gold
Cans of Cougar Gold


Filed under Food, Pullman Washington, Things to Do, Uncategorized, Washington State University, What to do if it is snowing

WSU Museum of Art and CUB (Compton Union Building)


Today was cloudy and we did not have a lot of time for an adventure.  Perfect day for a visit to the WSU Museum of Art and the CUB (Compton Union Building).


The Museum of Art is located in the Fine Arts Building directly across from Martin Stadium.  As you would expect, it is small, which means you can get a dose of art without having to set aside a lot of time.  For my visit with my boys, it meant I could give them a little bit of the museum/gallery experience without wearing their patience too thin.  (Even so, I was very glad I brought a stroller, because one of my wild things had to be restrained from touching the art.)

Gallery 1 View (Photography is prohibited, as I was told after I took this!)

Gallery 1 View (Photography is prohibited, as I was told after I took this!)

The exhibitions change about every three months, and have seemed varied and impressive (though this is the first time I have made a visit).  OK, this is not MOMA, but it is very enjoyable! It is also free!

Sculpture in Front of Museum

Sculpture in Front of Museum

After the museum, we crossed the wide sidewalk and went to the CUB.

Walking to the CUB (CUB in the distance)

Walking to the CUB (CUB in the distance)


I intended to take the boys to Starbucks, which is located in the bookstore.  However, the line was too long (as it notoriously is).


So we changed plans and went to the food court.

CUB Food Court

CUB Food Court

We ended up getting juice and zucchini bread at Carlita’s, which had basically the same kind of stuff as Starbucks would have had.  The zucchini bread was made by the WSU Dining Services, and was very good.  Also, at $1.19, I would bet it cost a lot less than it would have at Starbucks.



The CUB food court also has a Villa, a Panda Express (with sushi) and a Subway.  Standard food court fare.  The seating area is nice and light and was not too crowded (though we were there before the lunch rush).




Getting there was really easy.  The place to park is at Smith Center, which has a sign on Stadium Way.  You have to pay, but it was only around $3 for our visit.  I think there might be validation available if you spend over a certain amount, and I think there is a promotion now where you can park for free after 5 pm. You take the elevator up the sidewalk level.  Both the CUB and the Museum also have handicap buttons on the doors, so it is not a struggle to get through with a stroller.  I did not check on changing tables, but there are bathrooms readily available in both buildings.



All in all, I think our adventure took about an hour and a half and cost a grand total of around $6.  Well worth it to beat cabin fever and do something a little different.

Useful websites:

Museum of Art




WSU Parking Info


WSU Campus Map



Filed under Culture, Food, Free, Pullman Washington, Things to Do, Washington State University, What to do if it is snowing