Feb 172011

Steve Schneider, Heritage Trust Board President, Thurid Clark, Becca Rettmer, Heritage Trust Executive Director, Barb Pitman, Gary Pitman, Mike Skehan, David Thorn, Randy Smith

The Heritage Trust Board has given their enthusiastic approval to Thurid Clark’s proposal to rehabilitate the orchard at the Curry Preserve. So, this is no longer an ad hoc initiative of the transition team but “The Heritage Trust Orchard Project at the Curry Preserve.” Those of us who proposed the idea are very thankful that the Trust Board has not only endorsed the idea but allocated funds for clearing the blackberries that are in the way of planting trees. Yesterday a group of  orchard stewards met with Heritage Trust staff to iron out the details.

Clearing should be finished by mid-March. Then Heritage Trust volunteers will take over grading, pulling blackberry root balls, seeding grass, digging holes, sifting dirt, and planting, staking, fencing and maintaining the trees. There will be costs involved in buying the trees and the stakes and metal fence posts and fencing materials. If anyone has fencing material they would like to donate we would be interested in hearing about it.

We will also need to raise some cash to purchase the trees and fencing material. We don’t have a firm estimate of costs yet but the guesstimate is $60-$75 per tree. There is room for approximately 20 semi-dwarf trees. At the most we would need to raise $1500 to complete the project. Tax free donations can be made to the Lummi Island Heritage Trust and designated for “the orchard project.”

This is an important community project and an exercise in self-reliance, a chance to make an investment in a community food source for years to come. Hopefully, readers of this blog will see the value of these additional trees and help with a contribution of money or material to The Lummi Island Heritage Trust. And, The Heritage Trust will, of course, welcome any volunteers who want to be apple tree stewards.


  6 Responses to “Apples!!”

  1. if you have any kind of orchardist group nearby they might be willing to graft trees for you for cheap. the Home Orchard Society here regularly holds events where they sell custom grafted trees for much less than the nurseries charge.

  2. Many thanks to you and Thurid for all your efforts to get this project moving ahead. The Heritage Trust is certainly doing a good job maintaining the trust property for all of Lummi Island. Will there be apple cider in the Fall???

  3. Picking apples is a few years away, but I’m wondering if there will be rules about who is eligible to pick the apples from these trees. Are the fruit of these trees open to the community, or the property of the Heritage Trust?

  4. There are signs near the current trees. Take some and leave some for others ( or something like that).
    Enjoy the fruits of the land, Diana. Just leave some for me.
    My take-away message from all this is to learn how to plant and care for fruit trees in general, and maybe you’ll enjoy a tree or two of your own.

  5. Awesome. Well done.

    Now you’ve got me wondering what it would take to convince public parks to start choosing fruit trees for their landscaping.

    This is an example that can be done most anywhere, and yet will make a significant difference, physically, psychologically, and morally.

    I consider the bible the limited channelling of mortals who were products of their time and culture at very most, but they did prescribe some wisdom: Let passers-by eat from your orchard. Do not take from an orchard more than you need for the time being. This was more or less the revolutionary stance of the first churches Paul formed, in contrast to a Roman culture which had become basically like what we have evolved to ourselves. Christianity initially prospered not because of some promised after-life, but because it offered sustainable culture values. Not charging interest was one of those bits of sustainable wisdom we ignored.

  6. I’m glad it came together, I’ll throw in towards some trees and get dirty.

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