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Category — Fruit

FAO: Guidelines on urban and peri-urban forestry

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Although cities occupy only 2 percent of the planet’s surface, their inhabitants use 75 percent of its natural resources.

By Fabio Salbitano Simone Borelli Michela Conigliaro Yujuan Chen
Food And Agriculture Organization Of The United Nations
Rome, 2016

Excerpt:

The world is urbanizing quickly, too: by 2050, 70 percent of the global population will live in cities and towns. Sustainable urban development is crucial, therefore, for ensuring the quality of life of the world’s people.

Forests and trees in urban and peri-urban environments, if properly managed, can make important contributions to the planning, design and management of sustainable, resilient landscapes. They can help make cities:

• safer – by reducing stormwater runoff and the impacts of wind and sand storms, mitigating the “heat island” effect, and contributing to the adaptation and mitigation of climate change;

• more pleasant – by providing space for recreation and venues for social and religious events, and ameliorating weather extremes;

• healthier – by improving air quality, providing space for physical exercise, and fostering psychological well-being;

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October 18, 2016   Comments Off on FAO: Guidelines on urban and peri-urban forestry

Detroit’s first U-pick apple orchard could become reality

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Conceptual rendering of plans for Detroit’s first U-pick apple orchard on the city’s east side.
(Photo: Wolverine Human Services)

Core Orchards Detroit, created by nonprofit Wolverine Human Services, has raised more than $400,000 for the project.

By Elissa Robinson
Detroit Free Press
September 24, 2016

Excerpt:

Michigan is home to hundreds of apple orchards, filled with acres of tart and tangy, crisp and crunchy, sweet and juicy apples.

But you won’t find a single orchard in the city of Detroit.

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October 2, 2016   Comments Off on Detroit’s first U-pick apple orchard could become reality

The Van Berckel’s edible garden offers bounty of fruit, flowers and vegetables (Bowen Island, Vancouver, BC)

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David and Aubin Van Berckel sit beside a willow sculpture named Con Brio by Vancouver artist Ken Clarke in their 2.5-acre edible garden on Bowen Island. Photo by Kim Stallknecht.

Just when I thought I had seen everything, the Van Berckels lead me into another area where there are two tunnels — one made from espaliered apples, the other from golden hops, from which David makes beer.

By Steve Whysall
Vancouver Sun
Aug. 19, 2016

Excerpt:

As we descend deeper into the garden, David hands me a ripe Italian fig to taste. It is juicy and delicious. Next, he offers me a handful of ripe mulberries. Heavenly.

“I pollard (remove the top) our other mulberry trees. They look great in the winter. But since I prune them so hard, I don’t get fruit, since the fruit is only produced on previous year’s growth,” he says.

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August 27, 2016   Comments Off on The Van Berckel’s edible garden offers bounty of fruit, flowers and vegetables (Bowen Island, Vancouver, BC)

Growing Hops in Abandoned Lots? Pittsburgh Will Drink To That

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Hops growing at the Hazelwood Y are tended to by Hanna Mosca, garden program director of the Pittsburgh YMCA. A flag pole, not pictured, holds up the hops at the other end of the trellis system. HOLP helped to plant 15 second-year hop rhizomes of the Magnum variety. Pete Bell

“There is nothing like watering plants two feet from a fairly busy road,” says Bell, referring to the hops sprouting up along Stanton Avenue.

By Meg Thompson
Modern Farmer
August 8, 2016

Excerpt:

“Typically in large commercial hop farms, the trellis system is around 20 feet high. We are going with half the height for several reasons,” says Bell. “A 20-foot-high trellis system is not very aesthetically pleasing to your neighbors. And we also need to be able to harvest these hops. It is much easier to harvest when the plant is 10 feet high rather than 20. That way we really do not need any special equipment.”

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August 13, 2016   Comments Off on Growing Hops in Abandoned Lots? Pittsburgh Will Drink To That

What does an urban orchard mean for Louisville, Kentucky

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Markenzie, 7, shows off peaches she picked from a first-year tree. Photo by Jinn Bug.

Planted on a former vacant lot, the orchard came about through a partnership between the city and nonprofit Louisville Grows.

By Anna Rohleder
Leo Weekly
July 20, 2016

Excerpt:

The orchard may be a bellwether of change for the neighborhood.

Produce Park joins a number of other community gardens and orchards that are greening the area. The People’s Garden in Shawnee and the Community Food Forest in Portland are also maintained by Louisville Grows. Orchards are a particularly desirable form of urban agriculture for Louisville since they bring food and trees together.

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July 25, 2016   Comments Off on What does an urban orchard mean for Louisville, Kentucky

Karachi, Pakistan: Plant fruit trees to revive public parks

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Environmental activists suggest residents and local administration should come together to turn abandoned spaces into community orchards.

“The few trees we have in Karachi are because of the endeavours of the citizens, not the government and they should surely get together to plant fruit trees in their neighbourhood parks,”

By Ferya Ilyas
The Express Tribune
July 15, 2016

Excerpt:

Horticulturist Mooraj says parks in Karachi in the 60s and the 70s had many fruit bearing trees such as jujubes, java plums and mangoes. “KMC would issue contracts annually to picks fruits from these parks and use the income generated from this activity for maintenance,” he recalls.

With scores of people living below the poverty line in the city, Mooraj says fruit trees can provide food to the needy. “People should keep the greater good in mind. The trees will continue to give fruit and shade to many even after they are long gone,” he stresses.

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July 19, 2016   Comments Off on Karachi, Pakistan: Plant fruit trees to revive public parks

The Business Of Edible Landscaping in Florida

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Photo by Daylina Miller/Wusf

There are 36 varieties of bananas at the nearly seven-acre farm, and so much more.

By Daylina Miller
WUSF Public Media
June 28, 2016

Excerpt:

Pete Kanaris founded GreenDreams, a landscaping company that helps clients grow their own food. He owns SandHills Farm, and it serves as both a nursery for plants and a testing ground for plants he recommends to clients.

“We’re really just learning to work with nature out here,” Kanaris said. “We have almost 750 fruit trees in the ground, almost 25 diff clumping varieties of bamboo… It’s a research site.”

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July 2, 2016   Comments Off on The Business Of Edible Landscaping in Florida

Historic, Hidden Gardens Producing Peaches in the Suburbs of Paris

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parpeachThe north-south orientation of the walls and the ability of limestone to trap the sun’s heat provided a few extra degrees of warmth for the fruits, allowing them to flourish farther north than their usual habitat.

At its high point, this area produced upwards of 15 million fruits a year, thanks largely to the murs à pêches, or ‘peach walls’. Established in the 17th century, this clever network — some 500 hectares of walls — helped protect the peach trees from the cold.

By Anna Brones
AtlasObscura
June 16, 2016

Excerpt:

The peaches of Montreuil became famous. They attracted royalty, earned a horticulturalist a prestigious Legion d’Honneur, and spurred an agricultural industry. Yet eventually, urban sprawl engulfed the walls.

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June 21, 2016   Comments Off on Historic, Hidden Gardens Producing Peaches in the Suburbs of Paris

Is it safe to eat apples picked off city trees?

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Wellesley College student Ciaran Gallagher checks the lead content in an apple tree in Cambridge.

Urban canners and college researchers are testing city-grown fruit to see if it is safe

By Bella English
Boston Globe
Nov 23, 2015

Excerpt:

Last month, the Wellesley researchers announced some unexpected results of their early tests: Not only are they safe, but fruits off city trees — or sidewalks — may be more nutritious than those on store shelves.

“We’re excited about these initial results, and the biggest surprise is the micronutrients,” says Brabander. “I think there’s a growing realization that urban environments can support a wide range of agricultural activities, from food projects to community gardens to foraging.” He and his students presented their methodology and preliminary results to the Geological Society of America’s annual meeting in Baltimore.

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February 8, 2016   Comments Off on Is it safe to eat apples picked off city trees?

The Backyard Orchardist

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A complete guide to growing fruit trees in the home garden, 2nd Edition

By Stella Otto
Illustrated by Glenn Wolff
Foreword by Peter Hatch
Chelsea Green
Nov 2015

For novice and experienced fruit gardeners alike, The Backyard Orchardist: A complete guide to growing fruit trees in the home garden has been the go-to book for home orchardists for over 2 decades. This expanded and updated edition–organized into 6 easy-to-follow sections–offers even more hands-on horticulture. Award-winning author Stella Otto starts by systematically guiding readers through the all-important first steps of planning and planting the home orchard. Learn to:

• evaluate and build healthy soil

• choose the best planting site

• select fruit trees that are easy to grow and appropriate for your climate

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February 6, 2016   Comments Off on The Backyard Orchardist

Falling Fruit – database currently contains 1,317 different types of edibles

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Map of edibles distributed over 790,443 locations.

Our sharing page lists hundreds of local organizations – planting public orchards and food forests, picking otherwise-wasted fruits and vegetables from city trees and farmers’ fields, and sharing with neighbors and the needy.

Falling Fruit is a celebration of the overlooked culinary bounty of our city streets. By quantifying this resource on an interactive map, we hope to facilitate intimate connections between people, food, and the natural organisms growing in our neighborhoods. Not just a free lunch! Foraging in the 21st century is an opportunity for urban exploration, to fight the scourge of stained sidewalks, and to reconnect with the botanical origins of food.

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December 14, 2015   Comments Off on Falling Fruit – database currently contains 1,317 different types of edibles

Activists Covertly Grafting Fruit Branches Onto Decorative Trees In San Francisco

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An example of grafting from the Guerilla Grafting website. (GuerillaGrafters.org)

They call themselves Guerrilla Grafters.

By Megan Goldsby
CBS
November 2, 2015

Excerpt:

They are a collection of activists and artists who use a technique called grafting to attach fruit tree scions, or baby branches, to maturing decorative trees. The practice of modifying city trees is illegal, so the grafters have to do their work in secret, sometimes working in the dark of night.

Margaretha Haughwout, who is a teacher and a grafter says they work to involve the neighbors who live near the trees, asking them to become stewards of their new tiny orchard.

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December 8, 2015   Comments Off on Activists Covertly Grafting Fruit Branches Onto Decorative Trees In San Francisco

Swapping The Street For The Orchard, Massachusetts City Dwellers Take Their Pick Of Fruit

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The property owners get back at least 10 percent of the fruit harvested, or the processed preserves.

By Arun Rath
KPLU
Nov 26

Excerpt:

The League of Urban Canners harvests fruit from trees in Cambridge and Somerville and turns it into jam.

Sam Christy, a local high school teacher, started the league four years ago.

“I think the first year we thought if we can harvest maybe 50 quarts of jam.

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December 4, 2015   Comments Off on Swapping The Street For The Orchard, Massachusetts City Dwellers Take Their Pick Of Fruit

Hunting down hidden dangers and health benefits of urban fruit in Baltimore, Maryland

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A pear hanging from a LUrC sampled urban fruit tree in Dudley Triangle. Dan Brabander and student Ciaran Gallagher taking in-situ measurement of fruit tree bark with XRF-NITON. Credit: Ciaran Gallagher and Dan Brabander.

“The intersection of urban geohealth and citizen science is an emerging research paradigm for prioritizing projects that have immediate implications for designing best practices that promote a wide expression of safe and sustainable urban agriculture.”

Science Codex
Via the Geological Society of America
Nov 2, 2015

Excerpt:

The League of Urban Canners study investigated the concentrations of lead in urban fruits when they were peeled and unpeeled as well as washed and unwashed. That was intended to distinguish whether the fruits were taking up lead internally or being contaminated by dry deposition from the air or from soil dust.

“We found there was no difference between these variables,” said Ciaran Gallagher, an undergraduate researcher majoring in Environmental Chemistry at Wellesley College, who will be presenting the research on Monday, Nov. 2 at the annual meeting of the Geological Society of America in Baltimore. Gallagher will be co-presenting with geoscience undergraduates Hannah Oettgen and Disha Okhai.

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November 9, 2015   Comments Off on Hunting down hidden dangers and health benefits of urban fruit in Baltimore, Maryland

NPR: Urban Food Forests Make Fruit Free For The Picking

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Phil Forsyth, executive director of the Philadelphia Orchard Project, leads a fruit tree planting at Bartram’s Garden in West Philadelphia. Courtesy of Philadelphia Orchard Project.

“It’s the presence of the tree, the constancy of the tree, that’s so special.”

By Alastair Bland
NPR
May 21,

Excerpt:

Fruit trees produce food, but also provide shade, keep greenhouse gases out of the atmosphere, improve water quality and may even deter crime. Advocates say they also have a longer lasting impact on communities than vegetable beds.

“When you plant lettuce, you produce food for today, which is great, but when you plant a tree, you’re feeding people tomorrow,” says Nina Beth Cardin, director of the Baltimore Orchard Project, a program of the Baltimore non-profit Civic Works. The orchard project has planted thousands of apple, serviceberry, pawpaw, fig and pear trees on public and private land around Baltimore.

[Read more →]

June 1, 2015   Comments Off on NPR: Urban Food Forests Make Fruit Free For The Picking