After more than 45 years of Park Service ownership and nearly 20 years of seasonal employment, two great changes have occurred at the Buckner Orchard.
Since purchasing the Buckner Orchard from Harry and Lena Buckner in 1970, the National Park Service has employed seasonal workers to maintain the orchard. For the past 20 years, Laurie Thompson has, as a seasonal employee, cared for and nutured the historic trees. In March, that all changed.
With little fanfare, and after months of process, the orchardist position at the Buckner Orchard was designated a permanent position, and Laurie was hired to fill it. This is great news for both Laurie and the Orchard. Laurie will no longer have to continually reapply for the seasonal work, and funding is now on a more solid basis for care of the orchard.
Congratulations, Laurie! You and the trees of the Buckner Orchard all should be very happy!
Beautiful weather, a large apple crop, and lots of great
folks, music and food highlighted this year's Harvest Fest!
BY THE NUMBERS
Friday Orchard work party -14 participants
Friday Night Stehekin Valley Music Program - 130 Attendees
Saturday Cider Pressing and Community Potluck - 220+
Sunday Poetry Night - 17 readers and reciters
Friday Work Party - A very
important part of what the Foundation does is to gather volunteers to help at
the Orchard and Homestead. Winterizing this organic orchard is critical to the
longevity and health of the trees. Controlling mice by removing grass and
food, cleaning ditches, mowing and weed eating, along with setting up for the
next day's festivities are only some of the many activities
Evening - Banjo, piano ragtime, solos, duets. and quartets
with music from the 40's and 50's as well as other lively offerings from
Stehekin's own Agnes on Fire band made for another enjoyable and
Many thanks to all the musicians and
singers, and especially to Mary Denmead, Mark Scherer, and Jo Reiter for their
organization of this great event.
the Orchard - A bumper apple crop coupled with our largest
attendance ever made for a day filled with lots of apples, lots of cider, lots
of people, and lots of food and music. We couldn't ask for more!
The Orchard has never looked better! The
signature Common Delicious apples, along with the Rome Beauties, Winesaps, and Johnny's
were large, juicy, and numerous.
Chili with all the fixings, a fine
selection of salads, and a multitude of yummy desserts rewarded the pickers,
pressers, and watchers, while enjoying the music of Agnes on Fire, our
versatile and talented band of local musicians.
Sunday Evening Poetry Night - Reading from
favorites, many of them reflections of the Stehekin Valley and the mountains
that surround it, as well as original writings from those present, this relaxing
evening brought Harvest Fest 2014 to a quiet close.
Many thanks to the Wilfred and Kathy Woods Advisoy Trust and the Community Foundation of NCW for their support of Harvest Fest!
YEAR - Harvest Fest 2015 will be held October 9 - 11.
You've all seen the flyers and now here
are the specific details related to this year's Harvest Fest.
Where: Stehekin, Washington on beautiful
When: October 3, 4, 5, 2014
there: Unless you have your own boat or plane, or chose to
hike in, you'll want to take advantage of services provided by the Lake
Chelan Boat Company and/or Chelan Seaplanes.
Lake Chelan Boat Company
The Lady of the Lake provides daily service through
October 15, with only a single boat running at this time of the year, so
reservations are recommended for both Friday arrivals and Sunday departures from
Stehekin. Schedule and Rates
Here is a note from Shane at Chelan Seaplanes, just
for Harvest Fest
"We have added some extra flights and a $20
discount on a round trip or $10 one way for folks flying up to the Harvest Fest.
They can make their reservations online via our web site or the link here.
(LINK) Folks can enter
the Promo Code "BOHF2014" when making their reservation to receive their
Stay: Use this link at the Foundation web site
to check out accommodations in Stehekin, as
well as fishing, hiking, and bicycling adventures. And, don't forget the
Stehekin Pastry Company!
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 3
9 AM - Work party at the
This involves light work setting up for the
weekend, as well as getting the Orchard ready for winter. Come when you can,
leave when you need to.
7 PM - Stehekin Valley Music at the Stehekin
The Valley is the home to many fine
musicians dedicated to
providing traditional, as well
as contemporary music. End of the Road/Agnes on Fire
will play, along with both vocal and instrumental individuals and groups. If last
year is any indication, this will be a sold-out house, so
NOTE - As per state law, alcohol and tobacco are
not allowed on the
4 10 AM - Picking and Pressing at the
Orchard Two cider presses, new picking bags, a choice
of ladders or long-handled fruit pickers, or just visiting
and enjoying the Homestead and Orchard, there are a lot of fun
choices for everyone.
Bring your own containers for cider, if you
have them. One-gallon freezer bags are provided for this
purpose, as well.
1 PM - Community potluck at the
Our tables are always graced with a great
selection of foods at this bountiful time of the year,
and End of the Road entertains for your enjoyment in this
Chili with all the fixings, lemonade,
coffee, plates, cups, and utensils are all provided.
If you have lawn chairs, bring them along,
or maybe a blanket to sit on the grass.
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 5
7 PM - Poetry Night (Location to be
Most Harvest Fest visitors have returned
home. The Valley is quiet and peaceful, the perfect
evening to relax and enjoy your favorite poetry and that of others. Bring your favorite pieces, your
own writings, or just listen and enjoy.
Come to enjoy the hospitality of the Stehekin Valley, the
fruit and history of the historic Buckner Homestead and Orchard, and the
incredible colors of autumn in this unique and wonderful setting!
Night Stehekin Valley Music Program - 140
Cider Pressing and Community Potluck - 165+
Poetry Night - a dozen readers and
Informed on Monday that the
normal venues for Harvest Fest, (the Buckner Orchard and the Golden West Lodge),
would be closed due to the government shutdown; the Stehekin Community stepped
Instrumental was the
Stehekin School Board in providing the use of the
School on Friday evening for the music program and for cider pressing and
community potluck on Saturday. Without this prompt and generous offer, Harvest
Fest would not have happened this year.
As the School is cleaned on
Sunday evening and was unavailable, sincere thanks to Terry Lavender for
providing a warm and comfortable setting for Poetry night.
Many individuals stepped
forward, allowing us to pick a truckload of apples prior to the shutdown. Many
other small details needed to be worked out now that the Orchard was
unavailable. Hauling and storing the apples, disposing of the cider mash as to
not attract bears to the school, and more. Without hesitation, community member
and friends were there!
STEHEKIN VALLEY MUSIC - ACROSS THE
With a standing-room-only
crowd, the Friday night program was lively, and entertaining, with a dose of
Valley history. Peggy Ann Courtney, Mary Denmead, Patty Wilsey, Liz and Tom
Courtney, The End of the Road Band, "The Andrew Sisters," and spirited
sing-along's of Valley favorites made this an event to be remembered! Rocking
the School from 7-8:30 PM, the program was followed by music for dancing and
listening from Agnes on Fire, an aberration of The End of the Road
Band. This was an excellent kick off to Harvest Fest 2013! And, many thanks to JoAnne Reiter and Mark Scherer for thier planning for this event.
MAKING AND COMMUNITY POTLUCK
Truly the result of a
community's commitment and effort, Saturday was busy, relaxing, entertaining,
filling, and very enjoyable. Serenaded first by big band music typical of the
Orchard in its hey-day, then live with Imus and the Mud Flows, this was
a day to forget about the many consequences of the shutdown to this small
community and to celebrate the Community and the Buckner Orchard.
Under the best of
circumstance, this was a great Harvest Fest Weekend. Under the circumstances
overlaying the Valley this year, this was a marvelous weekend! The Stehekin
Valley and Community truly shined! Many, many thanks to all who made it so.
Harvest Fest celebrates the
Buckner Orchard and the Stehekin Community. This year, it was a little more
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)
Foundation information is sent by blind copy to members
and interested individuals. If you no longer wish to receive these messages,
please contact us at the e-mail address from which this
Over the past four years, Harvest Fest at the Buckner
Orchardhas evolved to become more than a
one-day event. For the fourth consecutive year, a Friday evening program at the
Golden West Lodge will kick-off our celebration of the Buckner Homestead and
Orchard as an important part of our Stehekin Valley
Music - Across Generations
Live at the Golden West Lodge,
enjoy an evening celebrating the musical heritage of the Valley.
Featuring talented local musicians, sing-along's with Mary
Denmead, The End of the Road Band, Peggy Ann Courtney, displays, and
more, this is a do-not-miss gathering!
7 PM, Friday,
October 4, at the Golden West Lodge, Be there!
Be a part of another great day of picking apples, making cider, the community
potluck, and the musical entertainment of Stehekin's own The End of the Road
5, The Buckner Orchard,
10 AM - The
picking and pressing begins!
Be sure to bring containers for the
1 PM - Community
potluck, great music, and visiting with old friends and new.
Chili with all the fixing's, table
service, plates, cups, lemonade, and coffee are provided.
chairs if you have them.
Need something in Stehekin? Follow this
link to the Foundation web site and all the connections you need. Find it in
Continued Indian summer
weather, a great apple crop, sumptuous food, and 200+ enthusiastic participants
made for a near-perfect celebration of the Buckner Orchard and Stehekin
Community on October 6!
Valley residents and
visitors spent an enjoyable day picking apples, making cider, visiting with old
friends and new ones alike, enjoying the music of Stehekin's own End of the Road, while filling plates from the large selection
of potluck food. What a glorious day, and the orchard has never looked better!
See what you missed or
reminisce about your time at the Buckner Homestead with photos of the day
provided by Leo Christoffer, Crystal Austin, and Herb Sargo.(Photos)
Follow this link to Wilfred Woods' column in the Wenatchee World celebrating this year's Harvest Fest. Thank
you, Wilfred! (Column)
MANY SPECIAL THANKS
Special thanks are in
order for Eric Little
and John Schinneman of Whildbey Island, friends of the Stehekin Community, for
completely refurbishing both cider presses at the orchard. Metal and wood parts
were replaced or retooled in their shops in Freeland, WA, and the presses are
not only much easier to use, especially for kids, but will now serve the
community for many years to come. They look great! Thank you both for you
generous contribution to the Orchard and Stehekin Community.
The project and
transportation to and from Whidbey Island was facilitated by the Foundation,
and we are very grateful to Tom Courtney Tug and Barge for providing shipment of one of the presses.
Eric is pictured readying the presses for their maiden voyage.
NEW BUCKNER ORCHARD SIGN
Harvest Fest 2012 also
brought the unveiling of the new Buckner Orchard sign on the Stehekin Valley
Road. Construction of the sign was funded by the Buckner Homestead
Heritage Foundation, and is pictured here
with Wendy Garfoot.
The old sign, created by the late Phil Garftoot, now resides at Wendy's new
home in Stehekin. The Garfoots were long-time residents at the Orchard and are
responsible for much of the work that has made the Buckner Homestead and
Orchard what it is today.
FALL ORCHARD WORK DAY
13 friends of the
orchard spent the morning of October 5 readying the orchard for winter by
removing grass and apples from around trees for mice control, cleaning up
around the buildings, and other structures, and preparing for the next day's
Harvest Fest. (Photos)