A Lending Library Lends a Hand to Cortez Growers | LOR Foundation

A Lending Library Lends a Hand to Cortez Growers

Hundreds of apple trees were going unharvested in Montezuma County each year. One group of Cortez locals wanted to give growers a hand.


Photo by Matthew Tangeman

Montezuma County’s heritage apple orchards produce millions of pounds of fruit annually, but hundreds of trees were still going unharvested each year because growers did 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 equipment for their small orchards. Staff at the Montezuma Orchard Restoration Project wanted to help fill this gap and strengthen the local economy. Their idea? Create a harvest lending library for backyard growers and launch a system for selling the 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 farmers with an added revenue stream. LOR’s support helped Montezuma Orchard Restoration Project procure the equipment to establish the harvest lending library. Learn more about the project in the short video below.


Filmed and edited by Matthew Tangeman

Cortez Community Officer

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Cortez Community Officer

Nicci Crowley

Nicci prides herself on being a connector of people and ideas—a trait that’s central to her work as the LOR Foundation’s community officer in Cortez, Colorado. She listens to community members to understand the challenges they collectively face and then… Meet Nicci

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