UMD Heritage Orchard a Contestant in Edy’s Fruit Bar Contest

I had a chance to take a pack of kids out to a working orchard near Wrenshall, MN (pictured above) and it was just a fantastic experience, I’d never seen anything like it before, except in books. There used to be groves like this, and “wild” groves used by people and critters for sustenance all around our region, but there aren’t many left anymore according to the experts at UMD.

Imagine an apple production and consumption culture within a thriving orchardist community, small orchards dotting the landscape, filled with heritage varieties locally adapted to our region. This was the reality of the area around Duluth, Minn., during the first half of the 20th century. But the advent of the industrial food system divested this community of its heritage, although those abandoned orchards beckon our call back to a more sustainable way of life.

Last fall, I read about a new orchard coming in near 6th Ave E in Duluth’s Hillside. Today I found out about this chance to win an orchard for the Duluth Area from Edy’s Fruit Bars. Here’s a link to sign in and vote, vote early and often.

As of today Duluth was placed 3rd in the nation: Not too shabby. Hopefully if people can stay on this we can come out on top. Almost forgot: Duluth community members and organizations will get the fruit. If this is successful expect a surge in NICE homegrown Duluth pies & cobblers in the next 5-10-15 years.



about 13 years ago

What a great opportunity! Thanks for sharing wildgoose and I voted.

Danny G

about 13 years ago

Thoses Edy's Bars are ridiculously tasty.  My vote is in.


about 13 years ago

Pssst Psst...

You can vote daily, until May 31st. With each email address. Tell your electronic friends all about it. Just sayin...


about 13 years ago

That's right, bookmark it and vote daily.  Duluth is still in 3rd place today as it was yesterday, we are closing fast on Colorado with about 200 votes separating us, but Chicago has a thousand or so votes ahead of us. Thing is, if we can keep this in the forefront of people's minds we've got another month to do this, until May 15.  If we don't win in the 1st round there are four more chances.  But it would be nice to win this one now and get the trees in the ground sooner rather than later with our relatively shorter growing season.


about 13 years ago

I just passed this along!!! AN ORCHARD!!!


about 13 years ago

Vote people!

This has to be heaps easier to win than Google fiber.


about 13 years ago

I found some old reports (1917-1918, 1923-1924)about the Northeast Experimental Station, with cool pictures and a report on the old and new orchards (and the affects of the fire of 1918.  Kinda cool.


about 13 years ago


Those reports come from a whole treasure trove of archives from the station that was discovered in about 40 boxes and put into the NE MN Historical Archives located at the UMD library. Several professors at UMD have been using them to pull information forward about the food system Duluthians built in the early part of the 20th century. Very interesting stuff!  Pat Maus, the archivist, has been digitizing and posting some of the reports on-line.

Randy Hanson, who teaches Geography at UMD and who has worked really hard to get the Sustainable Ag Project at UMD going, as well as the Duluth Community Farm, has written an interesting blog entry about that history.  

Here's a link:

In a very short time (20-30 years) this community exploded from pretty small to 100,000+ people without any infrastructure (meaning local farms) to feed people. Early civic and business leaders had to create such a system from scratch, and they did so pretty fast and effectively. Then the industrial food system grew up after WWII, and made food so cheap through commodity production, that the local system fell into disuse. We can rebuild it. 

Here's some information about SAP:

Leave a Comment

Only registered members can post a comment , Login / Register Here

Read previous post:
Haley Bonar – “A Piano”