[permaculture] Fruit-tree preservation in Colorado | catalog Colorado fruit trees at www.falling fruit.org. The Heritage Fruit Tree Project was founded by Michael Thompson and Jerome Osentowski
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Mon Jun 15 12:01:08 EDT 2015
Fruit-tree preservation in Colorado | catalog Colorado fruit trees at
www.falling fruit.org. The Heritage Fruit Tree Project was founded by
Michael Thompson and Jerome Osentowski
Roaring Fork Valley residents dropped by Cozy Point Ranch on Saturday for
what organizers described as a “compost university.”
Gardening techniques, soil, noxious weeds, heritage Colorado fruit trees,
compost tea-making, composting with worms and landscape restoration were
among the topics discussed at the property before a crowd of people huddled
in a barn.
Jimmy Dula, fundraising manager for the Heritage Fruit Tree Project,
updated the crowd on his group’s latest effort, a plant-surveying project
funded through a $10,000 grant the Kay Brunnier Tree Project provided. The
goal is to catalog and renew a unique fruit-tree population that originated
from 19th century Italian settlers in the mid-Roaring Fork Valley.
In Carbondale, the group has cataloged 55 trees, but Dula estimates there
are hundreds left to be identified. Most abundant in the valley are apple
trees, but they’re not the typical red delicious or golden delicious apples
you find at the grocery store — these are underground apples that have
grown scarce over the years.
Between July and October, Live Well Colorado and Lift-Up food pantry teamed
with the Heritage Fruit Tree Project to provide an estimated 8,600 pounds
of charitable fruits and vegetables, and the effort will continue this
The project is carried out through gleaning, which involves locating
unattended trees in the valley and making use of the fruits that fall to
the ground. Dula said he gets a call about once a week from someone who has
identified one of these trees. He estimates a site-visit backlog of about
40 to 50 trees. In order to make a dent in this number, Dula said his group
is going to need to draw greater funding. Organizers are currently in
discussions with Colorado Mountain College about integrating the project
into the school’s curriculum. In order to carry this out, Dula is
attempting to secure an $800,000 specialty-crop grant from the Colorado
Department of Agriculture.
“We could expand this project and work with (Colorado Mountain College)
campuses around the state, integrate it into their sustainability program
and get more students involved, map more trees around the state,” Dula
said. “Colorado Mountain College would like their students to do research
on it and possibly get in the field.”
Dula said the group is exploring the possibility of creating a conservancy
and nursery at the Glassier Open Space in Basalt, where the group has
leased 14 acres. That could involve a hoop house that would be used to
propagate a nursery stock of statewide fruit trees. This would allow the
group to maintain these forgotten varieties of Colorado trees.
Those interested can help catalog Colorado fruit trees at www.falling
fruit.org. <http://fruit.org> The Heritage Fruit Tree Project was founded
by Michael Thompson and Jerome Osentowski.
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