MORP Capital Campaign

 

Cheers to MORP
Cheers to MORP

 

 

 

 

 

 

April 30, 2020: MORP just held a celebratory virtual cheers! with its new partner The Nature Conservancy. Thank you to everyone that help us reach our fundraising goal to purchase historic orchard property! MORP now has a HOME, an “orchard hub”, a place to grow its mission well into the future. Right now, we are excited to do the on-the-ground work to preserve our orchard heritage, demonstrate water conservation in orchards, and grow our local fruit economy.

Thank you to everyone who helped make this happen. Cheers to all our MORP members and supporters, The Nature Conservancy, Gates Family Foundation, Kenney Brothers Foundation, El Pomar Foundation Onward A Legacy Foundation. And most especially to the Olson Family who have farmed this ground for some 100 years. Thank you for entrusting us with your family’s legacy. Finally, we are humbled by Montezuma County’s “fruit growing wizard” Jasper Hall who broke ground on this historic orchard property back in early 1900. Thank you for your vision. We will move it forward.

MORP Capital Campaign phase I
http://montezumaorchard.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/MORP-Capital-Campaign-phase-I.pdf

MORP Heritage Apple Tree Availability

Scroll down the page to see photos of available heritage apple tree varieties. Click on the photos for full descriptions.

NOTICE: MORP has waived its minimum tree purchase while supplies last in an effort to avoid crowds and reduce spread of COVID-19. Please help us in this effort by selecting and paying for your trees BEFORE you visit the MORP nursery (by appointment only). Send us any questions by email morporchard@gmail.com.

We can help you choose a great selection (see updated inventory below)! Once we confirm your  order, please pay at the DONATE button at our website or mail us a check to MORP, POB 1556, Cortez, CO 81321. Finally, schedule a day to pick up your trees by sending us an email of possible dates/times. Once confirmed, MORP will hold your pre-paid order for up to two weeks. No refunds, credit only. When you pick up your trees, please maintain recommended social distancing of six feet. Thank you for your understanding. 

Attend a MORP TREE SALE EVENT (no minimum purchase) or schedule appointment w/ 10 tree NO minimum purchase. Trees are $60. All are hand-grafted and grown naturally using lacewing larvae for pest control in 3 gallon pots averaging about 3 feet tall.  Did you know that MORP members receive $10 off each heritage tree purchased and qualify for an additional bulk tree discount (buy 30 or more trees and get 50% off each tree or $30 each)? Not a member yet? Become one todayWe thank you

Click HERE to download an excel spreadsheet with information on available quantities and rootstock types. Availability subject to change. If there is a variety listed on the spreadsheet that does not have a photo on this page that means it has sold out. Send us an email to confirm the availability of your choice of varieties. morporchard@gmail.com

Tree Guarantee & Planting Advice

Mobile Cider Press Pilot

For the first time since Mountain Sun Juice closed its Dolores doors 14 years ago, local apple juice shipped out of Montezuma County in October, 2016. Montezuma Orchard Restoration Project produced and sold 2,200 gallons of Montezuma Valley Heritage Blend raw apple juice to hard cider makers in Denver, Boulder and Cortez. MORP used proceeds to purchase local heirloom apples, engage Montana’s NW Mobile Juicing, lease cold storage and processing facilities, ship juice and coordinate the project. Funded in part by a recently awarded USDA Local Food Promotion Program grant, MORP undertook this project to evaluate whether mobile juicing can help fruit growers reach juice markets. With the preponderance of juice apples in our orchards, market opportunity exists not only for hard cider, but for our fresh juice as well. Wouldn’t it be great if local apple juice could again be available in our own community?

We learned some valuable lessons in piloting this project. One of the most surprising was that health and juice regulations would not allow juice pressed on a mobile processor to be sold wholesale or retail, even when pasteurized. So we turned our efforts to press juice for hard cider which is exempt from regulations as fermentation effectively kills pathogens.

In order for Ryal Schallenberger of Montana’s Northwest Mobile Juicing to bring his mobile juice press to Montezuma County, MORP needed to guarantee we would have 800 bushels of apples to press. Knowing there was a bumper crop on the trees, and that one orchard alone could produce 800 bushels, we said sure; and when Ryal set a date in mid-October, a 12-day crash-course on juice manufacturing ensued.

MORP set a goal to pick 100 bushels a day. After our first day yielded 20 bushels, albeit with only three pickers, we got nervous. MORP put out a call to pay fruit-growers for picked and delivered apples, volunteer picking crews were organized and seven orchard owners opened their gates to mostly complete strangers. Over the course of eight days, 32 volunteers and four orchard owners picked, shook, and packed 32,000 pounds of apples. Over and over we heard old-timers recount, “on a good day, so-and-so could hand-pick 100 bushels”. We were humbled by our fruit-growing pioneers.

Picking apples was one thing. What about selling juice? How would we price juice in a market ranging from $1.50 to $9.00/gallon? Where exactly does one put 800 bushels of apples and how do they get there? Furthermore, how do we move a tote of juice weighing 2,600 pounds, and how do we get six of them to Denver? Thanks to years of getting to know old orchards, their people, and folks in the cider business, we knew who to ask. The juice sold out, and box-by-box, MORP purchased and borrowed wooden fruit crates, 20-bushel bins and milk crates. We borrowed trucks, trailers, barns, rented a loader and leased a forklift, tractor, warehouse and cold storage from Russell Vineyards to finish the job. Well, almost. There was still that question of getting 10,400 pounds of juice to Denver, after numerous unsuccessful attempts at sourcing a refrigerated truck. But as luck would have it, Lang Livestock had just purchased a truck from our friends at Geisinger Feed. They shipped the juice on an open-air flatbed at night to keep it cool. How happy we were envisioning a 75’ Kenworth semi delivering Montezuma Valley Heritage Blend apple juice in downtown Denver early the next morning. Next time, we envision the truck being full.

MORP is grateful for everyone’s generosity and confidence, and the true community effort it took to accomplish this project. Let us do it again!

Completed Needs Assessment to study feasibility of MORP purchasing a mobile press for use in our heritage orchards:

CapLog - MORP - Needs Assessment - Final - Updated Jan 17
 http://montezumaorchard.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/CapLog-MORP-Needs-Assessment-Final-Updated-Jan-17.pdf

 

 

mobile press

MORP Old-Fashioned Newsletter, Fall 2016

Loader Loading...
EAD Logo Taking too long?

Reload Reload document
| Open Open in new tab

Download [2.00 MB]

 

Montezuma County Apple Market & Mobile Pressing Opportunity

The market has returned for Montezuma Valley Fruits with consumers desire for the taste and heritage our local apples represent. Click links below describing market opportunities and challenges in the following documents 1) Montezuma Valley Apple Market Study, 2) Needs Assessment for Mobile Juicing Unit, 3) Feasibility Study for Mobile Juicing Unit, and 4) Business Plan for Producing Apple Juice with a Mobile Juicing Unit 

Finalrev - Updated MORP Market Study - January 2018

http://montezumaorchard.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Finalrev-Updated-MORP-Market-Study-January-2018.pdf

CapLog - MORP - Needs Assessment - Final - Updated Jan 17

http://montezumaorchard.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/CapLog-MORP-Needs-Assessment-Final-Updated-Jan-17.pdf

MORP Feasibility Study - Feb 5 2018 copy 2

http://montezumaorchard.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/MORP-Feasibility-Study-Feb-5-2018-copy-2.pdf

Finalrev - MORP Biz Plan - Mar 26

http://montezumaorchard.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Finalrev-MORP-Biz-Plan-Mar-26.pdf

 

Montezuma Valley Fruits
Montezuma Valley Fruits