Category Archives: Jude Schuenemeyer

The almost-true story of the Cedar Hill Black

Print this articleSome years back, a young reporter with the Cortez Journal wrote an article about the work we were doing to find and preserve fruit genetics in our area. Her story got picked up by the AP and reprinted … Continue reading

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Passing on seeds from the past

Print this article“Farmers and their buckets,” Dave Wilson explained to me. Mr. Wilson was fine waiting on payment for the bucket full of King Banquet bean seeds that he had brought us, but he would not be parted from his … Continue reading

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A tale from Towaoc

Print this articleAbout 10 years ago I took work full-time as a paramedic down in Towaoc, Colo., on the Ute Mountain Ute Reservation. As that employment allowed us to buy our farm, or the mortgage, as such, I was damned … Continue reading

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Apple of my eye

Print this articleCecilia baked an apple pie on Thanksgiving. Her first pie, mostly all by herself. I peeled and cored the apples, but Cecilia baked the pie. She added the butter to the Red Rose flour with me putting the … Continue reading

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Forward thinking

Print this articleTo the pioneers there are many things for which I am grateful. Not the least of which is Battle Rock, my daughters’ school house. Early on I learned that school districts and orchard districts were not mutually exclusive … Continue reading

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A peach of a crop

Print this articleThis summer, for only the third time in nine years, we had a peach crop in our orchard in McElmo Canyon. Our first crop coincided with our first year of living in the canyon. We had peaches coming … Continue reading

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Seeking the elusive orange apple

Print this articleOne of the first orchards in Montezuma County that I came to have a history with belonged to A.G. Dunning. His granddaughter told me about it, that her grandfather Dunning had an orchard. Several years passed before I … Continue reading

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A whimsical tale from days long past

Print this articleA long time ago I heard it was so, there was a group of nuns, you know. They were spiritual and they were kind, a benevolent order mystical and wise. Well, you know those nuns had a farm … Continue reading

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Dear Mr. Jefferson

Print this articleSunday mornings on KSJD there is a show, “The Thomas Jefferson Hour.” Jefferson scholar Clay Jenkinson acts the part of the late president for questions and conversation. Given Jefferson’s knowledge of fruit, I could not refrain from sending … Continue reading

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A prize-winning peach from the past

Print this articleYou do not have to know much about the history of agriculture in Montezuma County to know that a peach from McElmo Canyon won a gold medal at the St. Louis World’s Fair. As with all legends, time … Continue reading

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When is the right time?

Print this articleI am asked the question so many times, as if I had an answer. Count the hows and count the whys, reasons for or arguments against. Set a seed in sand, on stone, you can not know its … Continue reading

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Government regulations running amok

Print this articleAbout 10 years ago, when we started in the nursery business, at a little place on Montezuma Avenue in Cortez, Colo., we learned about seeds. We sold seeds there as seeds had been sold there for years, in … Continue reading

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Seeds of confusion

Print this articleRecently we have found ourselves in a predicament concerning seeds. For our conundrum to make any sense, an understanding of seeds — where they come from, how they are developed, discovered, propagated, and preserved — is called for … Continue reading

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The gift of life

Print this articleOn another trip out to the chicken coop I spied a bird dying. It was a smallish bird and I do not remember its definite color. Breath still moved through it; the gift of life had not yet … Continue reading

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An avocado grove in McElmo Canyon?

Print this articleTaken from the headlines of one hundred years ago, from time to time people bring me copies of old articles about farming and such in Montezuma County. Sometimes I can understand the who and where of the story … Continue reading

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Orchards show the power of resolve

Print this articleAs I travel across this county I see the shape of imagination, of energy formed into motion. I see the absolute power of resolve. For over 120 years these orchards of Montezuma County have been the living part … Continue reading

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The value of time

Print this articleThey say that during the Great Depression this nation stopped. Of course not all activity ceased; babies were born, weddings were held, kids went to school, people grew old and died. But that greatest of gifts that all … Continue reading

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Remembering the hardships of the past

Print this articleOur families came to Colorado by twist and by turn. Sometimes it took a few generations to reach this land from the old country. Other times the first family members to cross the water made it all the … Continue reading

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Chicken-hearted

Print this articleThis fall, with great anticipation, our girls began school at Battle Rock Charter School in McElmo Canyon. At the end of their first week of school I had a special dinner waiting for them when they got home. … Continue reading

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Certified organic? Does it matter?

Print this articleSeveral weeks ago as I was roasting coffee, a woman came into our shop. She looked to be about 30, a wholesome “earth mama” type with a 6- or 7-year-old in tow. “Is your coffee organic?” she asked. I … Continue reading

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Gardening means living in the now

Print this articleAddie began to plant grasses and perennials throughout the new orchard. She is down there daily digging, and watching, and watering. One evening soon after we began planting the trees she came up to the house stricken — … Continue reading

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Planting an orchard: An act of faith

Print this articleOn a Monday this past June, Gillian Rose and I planted an orchard. Well, not the whole orchard, but the first young grafts that are to be a part of this new orchard. Planting the trees is the … Continue reading

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