A Harvest Tool Lending Library Gives Cortez Growers A Little More Green
- Local Champion: Montezuma Orchard Restoration Project
- Date Funded: August 11, 2023
- Grant Amount: $22,845
Montezuma County’s heritage apple orchards produce millions of pounds of fruit each year, but hundreds of trees still go unharvested because the landowners do not have the proper supplies to harvest and transport their produce for local sales. These orchards are not large-scale operations; they typically belong to backyard farmers and ranchers who don’t have the financial resources to buy harvesting and transporting equipment for their small orchards. Staff at the Montezuma Orchard Restoration Project had an idea for how to solve this problem: Create a harvest supplies lending library to allow backyard fruit growers to borrow the proper supplies for harvest, and launch a system for selling the newly harvested apples locally. Doing so not only prevents the apples from going to waste (and attracting bears—a growing concern in the county), but also provides the farmers with a revenue stream. LOR’s support will help procure the equipment necessary to establish the harvest lending library.
This project is fiscally sponsored by Onward! A Legacy Foundation.