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  • Jennifer Jewell

FOR THE LOVE OF APPLES: MONTEZUMA ORCHARD RESTORATION PROJECT


FOODSCAPING - with Brie Arthur. Photo courtesy of Brie Arthur, all rights reserved.
 

 

February is upon us and we turn from a love letter to one place, to a labor of love in conserving some of the fruits of human’s labors in many places on earth – apples. We’re in conversation with Jude Schuenemeyer, who with his wife Addie has spent decades discovering, researching, documenting, protecting, restoring, and propagating the rich diversity of heritage apple varieties in Colorado’s southwestern most Montezuma county.


The diversity of apple genetics in this region traces back 150 years or more, and as apple tree pruning, and apple scion wood selection, and grafting seasons are all upon us, Jude is with us this week to share more about how The Montezuma Orchard Restoration Project ( affectionately referred to as MORP) is preserving historic orchards and simultaneously cultivating food, economic, and environmental strength in their region.


Follow MORP on line : https://montezumaorchard.org/ ; and on Instagram: @montezumaorchardrestoration/


Follow Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association: https://www.mofga.org/


Follow North American Fruit Explorers Project: https://nafex.org/index.php/about/


Follow the USDA's Apple Genetic Resource Unit in Geneva, NY (Where MORP has shared the Colorado Orange apple): https://www.ars.usda.gov/northeast-area/geneva-ny/plant-genetic-resources-unit-pgru/apple-collection/apple-collection/



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JOIN US again next week, when we celebrate both Valentine’s Day and African American Heritage Month in conversation with Abra Lee, an Atlanta Based horticulturist whose extensive work internationally writing and consulting and on the ground at Atlanta’s Oakland Cemetery – an historic garden cemetery – is a love letter to the deep roots of African American knowledge and Joy in American Horticulture. Listen in.


Cultivating Place is made possible in part by The Catto Shaw Foundation, supporting initiatives that empower women and help preserve the planet through the intersection of environmental advocacy, social justice, and creativity.




Speaking of Plants and Place.....


Is Audio Only this week with Jude sharing more on the historic apple varieties we should all know, grow, juice, eat, and LOVE. Listen to the last section of this week's podcast :)


 


Thinking out loud this week:


I say this all time – write it all the time – my work is focused on it most of the time – but we gardeners are such innovative and dedicated growers of the world – aesthetically, environmentally, culturally, economically – but these intersections all enlivened are so apparent in this growing story – aren’t they? Makes me want to go out and plant so many more heritage fruit trees!


Hey so - can you believe we are already into the second month of this still new year on this old and generous planet? We are seeing some of the perennial seeds we sowed last November start to take emerge: lupine, sidalcea and quite a lot of the harvest brodiaea. We had broccoli from the cool winter garden for dinner this week. We are collecting our seeds for the spring sowings starting soon – wondering what you are seeing emerge in your garden?


What seeds you are sowing this season where you are – under cover or directly into the cool ground?


IF you feel like sharing I would love to hear – you know how to reach me: cultivating place at g mail.com or leave me a comment on Instagram.


And Happy February all! In what is called Imbolc in the Gaelic tradition that moment in the circle of the year that is half-way between the Winter Solstice and the Vernal Equinox, when the light and the warmth that comes with it is very apparently returning to our days and to our energies.


\As a gardener – the dormancy and rest of winter is so necessary and welcome to all the life forms we honor – but the return of the light and the first signs of the season to come – well, this too are cause for reverence and revelry.



 

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