In 2013, Joanie Cooper purchased the perfect farm property for the Temperate Orchard Conservancy (TOC) – 40 acres of flat farmland in Molalla, Oregon. We have named the farm Almaty. Almaty means “full of apples” in the Kazakh language, the region of Kazakhstan being the ancestral home of the apple.
At the driveway entrance there is a wetland area with large old oak and Oregon ash trees, grasses and a “sometimes” creek. The house and yard and a workshop sit to the right and the driveway ends at a large open barn. The property is a long rectangle, with the fields sitting alongside the house and barn and then running north. There is an irrigation creek that cuts across the middle of the rectangle, bisecting the fields. The fields are cleared and, until the present time, have been used for hay. So TOC starts with a clean slate.
We have almost completed the remodel of the workroom in the barn that we call the Annex. Future grafting, apple identification and study will will be conducted in the upgraded space. A few more volunteer days and it will be ready. There is room for the development of our future DNA laboratory. We are fortunate to have been the recipients of a large donation of rare books. It is a great beginning for our library, and a wonderful resource for apple identification study.The field preparation plan and the orchard layout is progressing.