Orcharding is a piece of the food history in our area so it seems natural to feature programs that will help us identify and celebrate the varieties still found in our region.
This year we hope to renew or work on regional Heritage Orchards by collaborating with Lake Roosevelt National Recreation Area. The goal is to find and establish a heritage orchard and preserve the diversity of fruit that were grown here in the past. It could be a project that rehabilitates an existing orchard on park service land or establishing a new orchard featuring identified varieties from our region. If you know of a heirloom fruit tree or orchard please use this fact sheet to help us identify the tree or site.
Heritage fruit tree recovery fits with our work on RAFT heirloom vegetables. More on RAFT and heritage food initiatives on Slow Food USA website.
Heirloom Apples and Homestead Orchards
One of the early projects we planned was to start a registry of homestead orchards in our county so we could begin to learn of the varieties that were planted, their unique characteristics and types that are worth replicating through grafting to new trees. This year the Slow Food USA RAFT program is focusing on heirloom apples and have a Forgotten Fruits Manefesto. If you are interested in working on this project bring your interest to our next meeting and we will set you up with a fruit tree registry form.
Apples Forgotten Fruits (opens in Adobe Acrobat)
Noble Fruits A guide to preserving heritage apples