United Community Partners is proud to join the campaign to Save Eagle Creek Orchard.
Rob and Linda Cordtz have been stewarding the orchard land for nine harvests. This March frost took 70% of the crops. One more season without upgraded frost protection equipment and we may lose the orchard.
Here’s more from Rob and Linda:
Greetings, we’re Rob and Linda Cordtz, the owners operators of Eagle Creek Orchard, in Richland, Oregon. Rob comes from a background in Mine reclamation, Linda’s background is retail. At age 52, we left our home in McCall, Idaho of 25 years for a working retirement at the orchard. In 2005 we purchased a conventional orchard which we immediately converted to organic management techniques and got certified by Oregon Tilth. It’s a thriving business which builds and grows each year, this is our ninth harvest.
This spring an unseasonably warm spell in March brought the trees out of dormancy and into full bloom early, then a cold front moved through the North West US, temperatures dipped well into the low twenties. This hard frost killed 90% of our apricots, peaches and plums. This event equities to a loss of more than 70% of our total yearly harvest and income for 2013. Up until this spring, our frost protection equipment has adequate to handle the weather, as we are now seeing global changes, wild swings in weather are occurring. Rob and I worry that we could lose the ability to farm this orchard if we experience another killing frost next year.
We are asking for help to upgrade and increase our frost protection equipment so that we can continue growing organic nutrient dense fruit with sustainable and holistic care of the land. We need to raise $30,000 to purchase this equipment which will help prevent losing nearly everything again. The reasons this is so important are:
- just over 1000 families rely on our fruit each week
- this is the only organically certified orchard within 200 miles
- this is the only orchard within 100 miles
- our fruit is naturally sweet, tree ripened, and nutrient dense
Ways you can help:
- Talk up the campaign when ever you are around folks
- Make some posters to put up around town with a link to the indiegogo page
- Like the Eagle Creek Orchard page on FB
- Share things when any of us post them to your facebook (just hit SHARE) – but also add language as to why this matters to you!
- Personally ask your friends and relations to repost and share on facebook via a private message
- Keep the messages going out over the next three months until the fundraiser deadline
- If you know people willing to do a little more than share messages on FB have them contact Rob and Linda on Facebook
- IF you know any food, ag bloggers or writers send them our way
- If you are not local to the area do participate in the online campaign – donations come in from all corners because people care about local food systems
UCP is assisting with the social media campaign to spread the message far and wide to aide in reaching Rob and Linda’s fundraising goal.
To donate or share their appeal – please go to their Indiegogo campaign page – Sustain Our Local Orchard
If you have questions about the campaign please contact Rob and Linda Cordtz