Our 2016 membership drive is off to a good start with a notable number of new contributors.  On the other hand, there are still a good number of our "traditional" members who we still need support from.  Have you contributed this year to the work we do to care for the beautiful, historic Buckner Orchard?  We are a small foundation, and every bit helps!  Needless to say, memberships, donations, and adopted trees are welcome at any time..  http://bucknerhomestead.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/Membership-form2015.pdf">(Membership Link) 
Why now?  Funds in-hand prior to our May 16 annual meeting allow us to better plan, budget resources, and address needs for the year.
With much more of a "normal" winter this year in terms of snowfall and weather, the Orchard emerged this spring in very good shape.
As elsewhere in NCW, early warm weather has pushed the blossoms at the Orchard to early blooming.  In fact, the bloom is now overlapping the nearly-completed pruning that continued last week.
Elk damage was minimal, always good news, and mice-habitat and food reduction in the fall was again successful in terms of protecting both younger and older trees.
Pruning, the primary work at the Orchard February through April, involves removing unwanted new and old growth in order to shape the tree for good air movement, better production, and protection of the tree from over-burdening due to too many apples.  Though Laurie, NPS chief orchardist, gets a lot of help from the resident deer in cleaning up the resultant brush, this is still a very labor intensive job, from the cutting of branches and limbs, to stacking and raking the brush, hauling away larger pieces, burning others, and flailing (chopping) the brush with the Foundation-provided tractor and flailer.
Soon to follow, ditches, which appear to be in great shape, will need to be cleaned, water diverted at Rainbow Creek, and the long season of irrigating the Orchard will have begun.  At the same time, thinning the trees (removing little green apples by hand), will begin another long, labor-intensive process.  No thinning spray in this naturally organic orchard! 
Your help, even for an hour or so, is very much appreciated and needed.  Maintaining a traditional orchard, especially here in the Stehekin Valley, takes a lot of work and loving care.  It is best to check in with Laurie prior to volunteering, and your participation in the BHHF work parties is another great way to support this historic orchard.  (See schedule below)
Structures at the Orchard did well during the winter, as well, with nothing more than normal deterioration and the accumulation of leaves, small limbs , and other debris.
buckstopVolunteers, in addition to help with the brush in the orchard, have already been helping with clean up around buildings and lawns, early lawn mowing, erecting of the flag pole, sweeping out the Buzzard Cabin, removing the cabin's chimney cap, and the clean up of debris after early spring hazardous tree removal.  With apple blossoms just emerging, dogwoods in early bloom, and beautiful green grass everywhere, the last couple of weeks at the Orchard have been an especially nice time to be there!
Work continues for the third season on the renovation of the Buckner Home.  Dana Barton, NSP historic restoration specialist, indicates 2016 will be a "transition year;" securing the house to the new foundation, finishing the drainage system, and cleaning up and restoring lawns, and more.  Lmited funding in 2016 will reduce the time and scope of work allowed, but will provide the bridge to what is hoped to be a finishing year in 2017.
The Annual Meeting of the Foundation will be held at the Manson Reclamation Offices in Manson, at 7 PM on Monday, May 16.  Budget adoption, election of board members and officers, and reports on the previous year are an important part of this meeting. 
Monday, May 16   Annual Meeting 
7 PM,
Reclamation District Office
Thursday, June 16    Orchard Work Party
8:30 AM,
 Buckner Orchard, Stehekin
Saturday, July 16    Orchard Work Party
8:30 AM
 Buckner Orchard, Stehekin
Saturday, August 13  Square Dance at the Orchard
Old Packing Shed 7 PM,
Monday, August 15  Summer Board Meeting
Bakery Gazebo, 8 AM
Friday, October 7   
Orchard Work Party
Buckner Orchard, 9 AM

  Valley Music Program
Stehekin School, 7 PM
Saturday, October 8   Harvest Fest
Buckner Orchard, Stehekin
10 AM, picking and pressing
1 PM  potluck and music
Sunday, October 9   Poetry Night
 7 PM, Bakery Cabin #1,
E-mail:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The Buckner Homestead Heritage Foundation is a not-for-profit organization
created specifically to support and preserve the Buckner Homestead and Orchard in Stehekin, Washington,
and is registered as such with the State of Washington and the IRS
(Tax ID #452913458)