Help Preserve and Restore North Charlestown’s Historic Apple Orchard

ain Street in N. Charlestown showing the farmhouse & apple-storing barn on the right. The Farwell School & Methodist Church are on the left.

   NORTH CHARLESTOWN, NH—North Charlestown Community School and Sullivan County Conservation District (SCCD) are partnering to preserve and restore the orchard behind the school that was planted in the early 1900s.  The orchard was originally planted by Stanley Wilson in 1930, who lived across the street and stored the apples in the big barn.  The Stacey brothers moved into the house and ran the orchard after him.  The Allen Brothers took care of pruning and spraying the orchard for some decades.  It became known as the Eisnor apple orchard during that time and was open to the public for autumn picking days until 1988, when it was purchased by the Farwell Trustees with the intention of preserving it for the school and other public use.  There are not as many trees left standing in the orchard behind the school today and they have not been properly cared for in quite some time.  

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   Recently, Stan McCumber and Jenny Wright, veteran apple pruners with close to 50 years of experience, took a look at the orchard at the request of the school principal, Aaron Cinquemani, who is interested in preserving the remaining trees and planting new trees to restore the orchard for the community.  The school will be hosting an apple pruning demonstration and orchard workday on April 13th from 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.  The demonstration will be from 9:00-11:00 a.m. The orchard workday will begin at 11:00 a.m. Both are open to the public. Lunch will be provided to workday volunteers.  Donations will be accepted and used to pay for some pruning and to buy new apple trees and perennial pollinator plants that will bring bees to the orchard year-round.  Students will take part in a Green-up Day this spring to plant the new trees and pollinator gardens.  Donations will also go towards fertilizer for the trees, renting bee hives during the blooming season, and paying for biennial pruning.  The school is looking for volunteers or an organization to take on the care of this orchard fulfilling the wish of the Farwell Trustees to see it enjoyed by future generations.

   There is a playground at the school that might entertain kids as adults work in the orchard. Please bring water, wear sturdy shoes, dress appropriate for the weather, and bring work gloves if you have them.  

   If you have any questions about the pruning demonstration, please contact Dawn Dextraze, SCCD’s Education and Outreach Specialist, at 603.542.9511 x269; ddextraze@sullivancountynh.gov

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