Tree-a-gram

PLACE your Tree-a-Gram order by sending an email to morporchard@gmail.com. PAY for your order at the Donate Here button (click on the red apple at the sidebar).

Heritage Apple Tree Availability click to download excel spreadsheet for information on quantity and rootstock. Availability subject to change. If there are varieties that are listed on excel that do not have photos on this page that means they have sold out. Place your tree order at the donate button. Send us an email with special instructions.

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

Gold Medal Orchard

11449 gold medal
 http://montezumaorchard.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/11449-gold-medal.pdf

HISTORIC GOLD MEDAL ORCHARD

Remembering Our Past, Envisioning The Future

 The historic Gold Medal Orchard, located in McElmo Canyon where it joins Trail Canyon, represents one of hundreds of remnant historic orchards located in Montezuma County and across Colorado. First planted in 1890 by James Giles, the orchard soon earned its name by winning a gold medal for the quality of its apples and peaches at the St. Louis World’s Fair in 1904.
Remaining on-site are several old apple, pear, and quince trees, portions of the historic orchard fence; and under the grand cottonwoods are two historic homes with sheds and a privy.

When you visit, close your eyes and imagine what you would have seen while standing here at the turn of the 20th century. Fruit trees spread across the canyon floor, pink, white, and red blossoms snowing down in the spring, limbs heavy with crops throughout the summer and fall. Apples, peaches, apricots, pears, cherries, and plums ripening in the warm sun and cool evenings in the perfect location to grow beautiful and flavorful fruit.

Time passed, the trees grew into their grandeur, and then slowly faded into the landscape. Over 100 years later, only a few historic trees remain, hardy remnants of the orchard’s former glory. Heritage fruit varieties were lost, and the story of the Gold Medal Orchard and its prize-winning fruits was nearly forgotten.

Today, the story of the Gold Medal Orchard is remembered by the Montezuma Orchard Restoration Project (MORP) through its work to preserve Colorado’s fruit-growing heritage. In 2015, the orchard was listed as one of Colorado’s Most Endangered Places by Colorado Preservation, Inc. (CPI). MORP works with the Kenyon family to have it become a Saved Site. In 2019, this project was awarded an Endangered Places Progress Award by CPI at the Dana Crawford & State Honor Awards. 

When you are at the orchard, open your eyes wide and take a good look at the roughly 400 fruit trees growing before you. They represent rare fruit genetics (primarily apples) that were grafted by MORP from this and other historic Colorado orchards. Envision these young trees of old genetics reaching their prime, and then still growing another hundred years from now. Gifts of our early fruit growers passed down by MORP for future generations to taste and preserve.

You are invited to share in this vision by becoming a Sustain-a-Tree Member of MORP. 




The gates to the orchard are opened during scheduled MORP events, but you can view the site anytime from outside the fence. If you are a Sustain-a-Tree member you can contact MORP (via email) to schedule a visit as well.
Interpretive signs paid for in part by History Colorado, State Historic Fund which will be installed by year 2020. 

 

Gold Medal Orchard interpretive sign http://montezumaorchard.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/11449-gold-medal.pdf

 

MORP Old-Fashioned Newsletter, Fall 2016

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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

Click to access 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

 

Harvest Fest & Orchard Social, Oct 8, 2016

JOIN US on October 8 from 10 to 4! Sign up to attend one of the hard cider tastings (1 or 2 p) at the FREE Orchard Social by pre paying at our Paypal Button at our website – with cider tasting and time – in the memo line, $15 members, $20 non-members; or send us an email to get on the list: morp@montezumaorchard.org 

dcc-harvest-festival-2016

Old Colorado Apples

OLD COLORADO APPLES

MORP is researching what apples historically grew in Colorado to create an Old Colorado Apples list (see below). By searching historical books, reports and records, we have so far documented 436 varieties of apples that were planted in Colorado prior to 1930. Many of the apples on this list we find still growing in our landscape on trees up to 100 years old or older. Others, nearly 50% of the list, are now considered lost/extinct. This great diversity disappeared not because these varieties did not grow well here, rather because many were simply not shiny red apples representing the standard of the time. We work to return as many of these varieties as we can to Colorado orchards. To be successful, we will need you to plant diversity in YOUR orchards — as was tradition a century ago.                             

Dr. Sandsten of the Colorado Agricultural College’s experimental station surveyed every orchard district in the state from 1917-1922. He not only documented what fruit varieties were growing in Colorado, but inventoried quantities grown in commercial orchards at that time, down to the age and condition of the orchards. In our work to survey and identify varieties in Colorado’s historic orchards we have retraced many of Sandsten’s footsteps likely putting many of the same trees he documented back on the map. DNA results from apple leaf samples collected by MORP match to 34% of the named varieties listed on the 1922 surveys confirming the endangered diversity still found in our landscape.

Download the list of OldColoradoApples

DETAILS ABOUT THE OLD COLORADO APPLES LIST:

✦ 64 varieties, 15%, are Common—10 or more mail order sources carry them; these varieties are NOT commonly found in nurseries, but can be found with specialty nurseries and collectors. 

 ✦ 55 varieties, 13%, are Rare—4 to 9 mail order sources carry them.            

✦ 108 varieties, 25%, are Endangered—1 to 3 mail order sources; we work to get our hands on these apples and increase their numbers before they end up on the lost list.                                                                                       

✦ 205 varieties or 47% are Lost—considered Extinct; MORP seeks these varieties in CO remnant orchards.

MORP grafts and sells/donates heritage apples trees.