BUCKNER HOMESTEAD HERITAGE FOUNDATION FALL UPDATE
In this Issue
On the Bright Side
An Unusual Orchard Visitor
Priority Projects lag far behind, particularly on the NPS end. The departure of key maintenance staff in early June, with replacement not yet occurring, coupled with pandemic related issues, resulted in approved projects like the rehabilitation of the fuel platform and garden fence not even getting off the ground. The good news, though, is prep work has begun in the past few weeks on the garden fence rehab in 2022.
On the bright side, the Buckner House cabinetry, funded by the Foundation ($3,500) and facilitated by NPS, is completed and looks amazing.
The John Deere riding mower donated to NPS by the Foundation,($2,085.42) and below budget, has been a huge asset this summer. Acquired in March, the mower has 95+ hours of mowing in the Orchard and other areas, making weed, fertilizer, and water management easier and more efficient. And, the Orchard looks great! Kudos's to Laurie and Nicole!
The Kiosk, a major interpretative and electrical project begun in 2019, then stalled for various reasons, is near completion. Budgeted at a cost of $11,000 by BHHF, it should be very close to, if not under budget. NPS interpretative information is scheduled for installation in May of 2022, if not sooner.
Music at the Orchard, in lieu of the Square Dance, made good use of the generator-free power! Thank you Agnes on Fire for making this happen. Attendance, 252!
Harvest Fest, in its limited format, was a success; with visitors and local residents providing a steady stream of pickers and pressers throughout the three days we provided all the materials for picking and making cider.
Those who chose to social distance were able to easily do so, a major goal for a far less formal Harvest Fest. We even tried some new things that will continue in future years. Placing boxes and picking bags under a canopy near the packing shed for nearly two weeks expedited picking, distancing, and distribution. About 125 empty cardboard boxes were used during that time, and picking bags were far easier to find and use.
Using cleaning materials acquired in 2020, no costs were incurred for Harvest Fest 2021. On the other hand, the second year without a raffle resulted in loss of income it generates.
Other small projects were completed utilizing volunteers, NPS and donated materials during the third quarter, and with no additional cost to the Foundation.
* Metal culvert ends were capped with wood as an aesthetic improvement.
* 28 wooden ditch gate boxes were constructed. (Thank you Phil Russell and Herb Sargo) Boxes may be installed in November.
*Lights and standards at the packing shed were upgraded significantly (Thank you Tom Courtney-welding, Phil and Libby Gans-poles, and Herb Sargo-tires and pipe)
Three Work Parties totaling 108 volunteer hours, were held June 17, July 17, and October 1. Unlike most years, thinning was not a major chore. Cleaning the main ditch along Buckner Lane and improving the path tread were a nice change for a warm July day. At the same time, others were literally painting a slurry of diatomaceous earth on tree trunks for ant control. Fuel reduction, nail pickup, picking apples, winterizing and more provided a variety of interesting tasks.
A Unusual Visitor joined the Canada Geese at the Orchard early this fall. An immature Greater White Fronted Goose was seen frequently with the Canada's at the Orchard, and was immediately noticeable by its smaller size and more aggressive feeding.
Not uncommon in migration east and west of the mountains, Greater White-Fronted Geese are usually in large flocks; so it is unusual that the goose was here alone and here in the Stehekin Valley. Interestingly, the bird was gone from the Orchard for a four-day period of time in late September, and a single immature GWFG was photographed at high alpine Cutthroat Lake during that time period. The same bird? Likely.
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)