Hello! Welcome to our new website and the first blog post from Brovold Orchard. As owners of the orchard for the past year, we’re excited about all the things that have been happening and all the things that are planned. If you’ve driven past the orchard, you may have noticed the activity. The orchard was pruned last year for the first time in several years, and we’ve just finished up pruning in 2021. This year we even held an adult education class in cooperation with Alberton School District on “How to Properly Prune Your Apple Tree.” We hope to have many more informative and interesting classes in the future.
The fruit crop in 2020 was moderate, but we were pleased to share the fruit with many people in the community who came to pick. Providing free fruit to our neighbors in Alberton is a longstanding tradition at Brovold Orchard, and one we plan to continue. The harvest season culminated in a Fall Family Fun cider pressing day for school children, their parents, and teachers in early October. This used to be an annual event at the orchard, and we are pleased to revive it in cooperation with Alberton School District and the PEAK Foundation.
Much of last summer’s activities at the orchard went towards maintenance to bring the orchard back to good operating condition. Things like mowing, weedeating, maintaining the drip irrigation system, and planting new replacement trees were everyday events. We held a yard sale to help dispose of usable items from the old vacant residence on the property. Then, after disposing of over 11,000 pounds of trash from within and around that residence, we’ve begun to tear the building down. That project will be completed this Spring and the area will be attractively landscaped. We repaired and painted a couple of the outbuildings on the property last summer. On the hillside above the orchard, we used our new-to-us backhoe to level an area where we hope to erect a new metal equipment storage building later in the year.
As important as the hard physical work at the orchard has been, there have been things happening behind the scenes that are just as important. Last fall we established a five-person Brovold Orchard Advisory Council composed of representatives from various segments of the community. This group will help us make decisions and implement management actions that will ensure the orchard is providing a diverse range of opportunities to the area’s people. These opportunities will include not only fruit from the orchard, but youth and adult education, volunteer opportunities, day-use recreation, and a place for community and private events. The Advisory Council is currently exploring the possibility of making Brovold Orchard a nonprofit organization so that we may receive tax exempt grants and donations to make all these opportunities come to life for our community.
We hope you’ll join us in the adventure of making Brovold Orchard a multi-faceted community resource. Please follow us on our Facebook page, and email us any time you have questions or ideas for us to consider. If you have spare time and would like to help with the orchard’s progress, we’d love to talk with you about volunteer opportunities.
Best regards from Bob and Jeanne Summerfield at Brovold Orchard.