About Us


Orchard History

Homesteaders Charles and Phoebe Poirier settled on the land that is now Brovold Orchard in 1899. They received a homestead patent on the land from President Theodore Roosevelt in 1906. Later that same year, the homesteaders sold the land to prominent citizen and County Commissioner William Adams, who developed it into Rosehill Tourist Court, a motel with individual cabins, to accommodate the housing needs of a growing railroad community. Adams maintained the property until his retirement in the mid-1940s. It then went through a quick succession of owners until sold to Julius and Emma Brovold in 1952. The Brovolds continued the tourist court until selling the property to two sons, Norman and Phillip, and their wives in 1966.

Norman and friend in the orchard
It was Norman who first recognized the potential of the land as an orchard. The sunny, south facing slope, rich but rocky soil, and abundance of natural spring water made the site a perfect spot for fruit bearing trees. In 1982, Norman purchased about 50 fruit trees of various kinds from Lawyer’s Nursery at Thompson Falls, and Brovold Orchard was born. Asked why he planted an orchard, Norman once said, “I grew up during the hard times of the Great Depression when many people went hungry. No matter how hungry you were, you could go to jail for pulling an apple off your neighbor’s tree. I never wanted that to happen to anyone in Alberton”. So, from the very beginning, Norman’s vision was for Brovold Orchard to be a community resource to be used and enjoyed by his friends and neighbors. Over the years, the orchard has come to be treasured by the people of Alberton, who are grateful for Norman’s generosity in sharing the orchard’s abundance. Unfortunately, Norman passed away after a long illness in May 2022. Though he is no longer with us physically, his spirit guides us as we continue to share his orchard with the community.

Norman in 2020 at age 90
Jeanne Brovold Summerfield, Norman’s daughter, and her husband, Bob, acquired ownership of the orchard in 2020. It is their desire to honor Norman by fulfilling his vision of providing the orchard as a community resource. Their goal is to manage the orchard as a multi-purpose site that not only provides food for the community, but also serves as a venue for youth and adult education, for outdoor recreation, and a place to hold small community events. The citizens of Alberton are now engaged in management of the orchard through representation on our Board of Directors and through partnership agreements with key segments of the community. Brovold Orchard will continue to serve as an important contributor to quality of life in the greater Alberton area for many generations to come.



Bob & Jeanne Summerfield - Bob and Jeanne have owned the orchard since 2020. Jeanne, who is Norman's daughter, grew up on the property, and it has always felt like home to her. Bob first visited Alberton in 1970, and he has participated in orchard maintenance for many years. Bob and Jeanne strive to carry forward Norman's vision for the orchard and were the force behind creating the nonprofit organization known as Brovold Community Orchard.


Legal Status

Brovold Community Orchard is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charitable corporation in the State of Montana. For copies of our incorporation papers, IRS nonprofit letter of determination, bylaws, and related documents please go to this link. The nonprofit organization Brovold Community Orchard manages the orchard property under a lease agreement with the property owners.


Board of Directors

As a nonprofit charitable corporation, Brovold Community Orchard has a Board of Directors composed of volunteer representatives from within the community. The Board helps us plan and implement all the management activities that make the orchard a valuable community resource. Current members are:


Sandye Adams, Director. Sandye has been involved in teaching and learning science for decades. And she is excited to provide learning opportunities at the orchard for everyone. She loves going hiking, camping, and fishing. Sandye is enthusiastic about gardening, cooking, and sustainable agriculture. She also loves knitting and reading books in the summer sun.


Erin Bloom, Director. Erin
is a special education teacher, Special Olympics local program coordinator and coach, and Pre-Employment Transition Service coordinator for Alberton students.  Erin greatly appreciates the experiential learning opportunities and sense of place that growing apples in a tight river canyon surrounded by mountains provides for children and young adults within Alberton School.


Nick Manuele, Vice-president. Nick grew up in the northwest suburbs of Chicago and studied photography at Columbia College Chicago. Shortly after graduating, he moved to Montana, drawn to the vast amount of public lands to explore. In 2005 he joined the Montana Conservation Corps where he developed a love for forestry and land stewardship. After a year of the MCC, Nick joined the US Forest Service as a trails foreman and continued to work for them for 12 years. Nick now spends his time building his home garden with his wife, Kelly, and working to develop community gardens and sustainable food sources.


Tina Reinicke, Secretary/Treasurer. Tina grew up in the Bitterroot Valley picking Macintosh apples in the fall. She moved to Alberton in 2017, where today she co-owns Alberton Ministorage, LLC. When not working her day job, she prefers to spend her time outdoors fishing, rafting, hunting, motorcycling and foraging.  With a BA in English and an MS in Business Management, Tina has served on numerous boards, commissions, and councils over the last 30 years. Tina is a writer and hopes to bring poetry to the orchard in the future. She also has grant writing skills that will help Brovold Orchard continue to succeed as a community orchard for generations to come.  


Bob Summerfield, President. Bob has spent a lifetime living and working in the outdoors. With a BS in Forestry and an MS in Wildlife Management, his career in natural resource management and wildland fire has spanned more than five decades. Bob does the tree care in the orchard, including planting, pruning, and pest management, and enjoys teaching others to care for the environment. His carpentry skills are also top notch and prove to be invaluable for building orchard infrastructure.

Jason Summerfield, Director. Jason (Bob and Jeanne’s oldest son) grew up visiting and helping his grandparents at the orchard. He has a strong connection to the property and the history that it represents. He is the definition of “Jack of all Trades” and enjoys many of the challenges of implementing and maintaining the orchard infrastructure. Much of the time he is the silent labor that is working in the background keeping the property operational. Jason often reflects on how his grandparents and great grandparents would view his work, and he strives to make them proud while continuing their legacy.


Jeanne Summerfield, Director. Having grown up on the orchard property, Jeanne is our resident historian. Her stories about life in Alberton and the many characters who have come and gone over the years are captivating. She is also a plant lover who enjoys spending hours sequestered in the greenhouse or tending her outdoor flowerbeds. With a background in wedding planning, Jeanne is an immense help with preparing for and conducting community events in the orchard.


Jordan Summerfield, DirectorJordan has a BS in Business Administration-Management. He is currently a manager for the Boeing Co. at their Helena fabrication facility. In his spare time, he is owner/operator of Meadowlark Excavation Services, LLC. His skills in mechanics and heavy equipment operation are invaluable to the orchard. Jordan is Bob and Jeanne's youngest son. He spent many memorable days at the orchard property growing up. He's currently building a home high on the mountainside above the orchard where he will live with his wife, two young daughters, and two Siberian huskies.


Jessie Vaillancourt, Director. You may remember Jessie from Alberton Feed & Supply.  She worked there helping with garden, lawn, pet, and overall farming/ranching solutions.  Now she spends her time helping folks through massage. She has lived in the Alberton area for the last 20 years and loves to connect and bring community together, especially around local food and wellness.  Being on the board provides her with opportunities to do just that.



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