Seattle Orchard Steward Project
Hundreds of fruit trees grow in Seattle parks and community gardens, a living legacy from the city's agricultural past. While these trees have the potential to provide significant quantities of fruit, most of them have been neglected and have remained, until recently, unproductive. City Fruit's three-year-old Orchard Steward project aims to address this situation by recruiting, training and supporting volunteer stewards to care for fruit trees in seven public parks and gardens. The result is that formerly unproductive trees are now feeding the community. In 2013, for example, the Dr. Jose Rizal Park orchard produced 500 pounds of apples which were donated to the local food bank and a co-op preschool: three years ago these same trees had been invisible -- covered in blackberries and laurel.
In 2014 City Fruit will be expanding the steward program to two additional parks and will be planting new fruit trees and associated understory (berries) according to permaculture priniciples. We are looking for support in acquiring new trees and berry bushes for the following orchards: Brandon Triangle orchard (1 tree, several berries); Bradner Gardens (1 tree); Amy Yee Tennis Center orchard (2 trees); Burke-Gilman Trail orchard (3 trees); and Dr. Jose Rizal Park orchard (several berry bushes.) Our program includes an educational component so that the trees and berry bushes will be planted as the hands-on segment of fruit tree planting workshops.
The Seattle Orchard Steward project provides in-depth training in fruit tree care to individuals interested in developing their own skills and provides hundreds of pounds of fruit to the emergency food system in Seattle -- fruit that previously went to waste. The living trees also connect Seattle's residents with the city's agricultural heritage and provide a focal point for community gatherings.
KGI is a nonprofit community of over 30,000 people who are growing some of our own food and helping others to do the same.
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Kitchen Gardeners International
3 Powderhorn Drive,
Scarborough, ME, 04074, USA