Montezuma Orchard Restoration Project (MORP) is working to preserve our fruit- growing heritage and restore an orchard culture and economy to our region.
MORP envisions southwestern Colorado being renowned for an orchard culture and economy based on the legendary quality of Montezuma Valley Fruits.
MORP formed in 2008 as an informal partnership with the Montezuma County Historical Society. Through conversations with descendants of pioneer settlers, co-founders Addie and Jude Schuenemeyer were excited to learn that fruit orchards once featured prominently in the agricultural landscape of southwestern Colorado. Montezuma County was renowned for its quality fruit – winning three gold medals at the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis, Missouri. Many of these orchards still exist – primarily apples – as remnants of their prior grandeur and sometimes with only a few 100+ year-old trees remaining along a fence line. Fortunately, people who grew up with these old trees still live here to share their stories and knowledge. Together, they and their trees create a living history that few places have retained.
MORP believes that the remarkable orchard culture and economy that once existed here can again be possible through research, education, and preservation. Through orchard workshops, historic document research, and direct engagement with knowledgeable people, an active interest in heritage orchards is again taking hold.
In 2014 MORP elected a Board of Directors, adopted By-Laws, and organized under 501c3 fiscal sponsorship in order to systematically collect, document, and share the work done so far; and to secure funding to make further progress towards its goals.
Please join us in keeping Montezuma County “Orchard Country”. Become a member of MORP by making a tax-deductible contribution of $30 or more. Please make checks payable to our fiscal sponsor San Juan Resources Conservation & Development Council, abbreviated as SJRC&D, with MORP in the memo line; or go to “Become a Member” (at sidebar) to contribute via PayPal.
Members receive discounts on hand-grafted heritage apple trees; our bi-annual “Old Fashioned Newsletter”; and the latest updates from orchard country. Sign up for our newsletter (at sidebar) to know about upcoming Orchard Socials and workshops; learn how to prune and graft; learn what is growing here; connect to the living history!
firstname.lastname@example.org (970) 565-3099 POB 1556, Cortez, Co 81321