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Category — Fruit

After delays, Chicago urban orchard project could soon bear fruit

Chicago’s First Urban Orchard Would Be Open To The Public, And Would Replace A Blighted Strip Of Former Cta Property In Logan Square.
Courtesy Altamanu.

Rare apples, as well as its cherries, plums, and paw paws—a fruit indigenous to the northern U.S.

By Chris Bentley
Aug 6, 2014

On a gray plot of land vacant since 1949, urban farmer Dave Snyder wants to give Chicago’s Logan Square neighborhood a taste of what he calls “the Golden Age of Apples.” “One hundred years ago there were maybe 15,000 varieties of apples commercially available in the U.S.,” he said. “America’s crop was the apple.”

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August 21, 2014   Comments Off

Growing Power receives donation of 4,000 fruit trees from Stark Bro’s


“The donation will help us plant trees on some of the 2,500 vacant lots in Milwaukee, helping us to provide good food, help the environment and even create jobs to maintain them.”

Excerpt from Growing Power Facebook:

A BIG day for us at Growing Power! We received over 4,000 fruit trees from Stark Bro’s Nurseries & Orchards Co. based out of Missoiuri. 4,000!!! Apples, peaches, pears, plums, even strawberries, raspberries and blueberries were all donated to us from Stark Bro’s! We’ll be using them in a variety of ways, but mainly with HOME GROWN Milwaukee to plant urban fruit farms on vacant lots all over the city! We had a big group of volunteers from Teach for America on hand to help us start getting the trees into pots with soil. We know this donation will help us continue to transform our local food system. Thank you Stark Bro’s!

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June 22, 2014   Comments Off

Urban Fruit: A Documentary About The Urban Farming Movement In Los Angeles

Urban Fruit, a film by Roman Zenz, tells the story of a handful of Angelenos growing food within the city of Los Angeles.

June 10, 2014

The city of Los Angeles, California was originally built on farming. In the 1920’s, Citrus groves flourished and stretched for miles, due to LA’s rich soil and prime growing conditions. Then, post WWII, the changing zoning laws and increased land prices pushed the agricultural industry far from the city center.

In today’s America, many citizens have a disconnected relationship with their food, where it comes from, and what is in it. However, a revolution is occurring, where many are taking back control of what they choose to consume, by reclaiming a skill that has been lost to the industrial food machine: growing their food themselves.

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June 11, 2014   Comments Off

United States’ first rare varieties heritage orchard to open in Chicago

Urban gardener Dave Snyder’s mission to save rare apple varieties found fertile ground in Chicago. Photo: Megan Baumann.

How One Chicago Farmer Plans to Save America’s Favorite Fruit

By Lori Rotenberk
Next City
May 22, 2014


Next month, after six years of working tirelessly to make the project happen, Snyder and CROP members will see Chicago break ground for the nation’s first rare varieties heritage orchard in the Logan Square neighborhood. This autumn, they’ll plant trees, vines and shrubs there.

Both a public space with benches, paths and commemorative tiles, as well as a lush garden of nearly 200 shrubs and fruit-bearing trees, Heritage Orchard, as it will be called, will produce apples and pears, cherries and other fruits such as the pawpaw, the Esopus Spitzenberg, and the Blue Pearmain (a blueish-hued apple!).

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May 31, 2014   Comments Off

Egyptian Model of a Garden from Middle Kingdom ca. 1981-1975 B.C.

See larger image here.

Pond surrounded by sycamore fig trees with red fruit growing from the trunks and branches

From the Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art
Period: Middle Kingdom
Dynasty: Dynasty 12
Reign: reign of Amenemhat I, early
Date: ca. 1981–1975 B.C.
Geography: From Egypt, Upper Egypt; Thebes, Southern Asasif, Tomb of
Medium: Wood, paint Copper

Excerpt from the Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art:

This model of a garden and portico was discovered in a hidden chamber at the side of the passage leading into the rock cut tomb of the royal chief steward Meketre, who began his career under King Nebhepetre Mentuhotep II of Dynasty 11 and continued to serve successive kings into the early years of Dynasty 12.

In the center of the garden is a pond surrounded by sycamore fig trees with red fruit growing from the trunks and branches. The pond is lined with copper and could have been filled with water. Facing the garden is the porch of a house. Two rows of columns support the roof made of palm trunks split into halves. The rear columns have capitals in the form of papyrus stalks bound together, the capitals of the front columns imitate bundles of lotus. Rainfall is rare in Upper Egypt, but such an eventuality is provided for in three projecting spouts.

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May 24, 2014   Comments Off

Toronto’s ‘Not Far From The Tree’


Pounds of fruit picked in 2013: 22,440 lbs. from 355 trees

Not Far From The Tree puts Toronto’s fruit to good use by picking and sharing the bounty.

When a homeowner can’t keep up with the abundant harvest produced by their tree, they let us know and we mobilize our volunteers to pick the bounty. The harvest is split three ways: 1/3 is offered to the tree owner, 1/3 is shared among the volunteers, and 1/3 is delivered by bicycle to be donated to food banks, shelters, and community kitchens in the neighbourhood so that we’re putting this existing source of fresh fruit to good use. It’s a win-win-win situation!

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April 24, 2014   Comments Off

Vancouver’s TreeKeepers program wants to become the biggest collective urban orchard in North America

The trees, all on dwarf root stock, are heavily discounted at only $10 each

Apples: Ginger Gold Apple, Liberty Apple, Cameo Apple, Red Jonaprince Apple, Crimson Gala Apple

Plums: Santa Rosa Plum, Early Italian Plum,

Figs: Brown Turkey Fig, Desert King Fig, Peter’s Honey Fig

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March 4, 2014   Comments Off

Forgotten Fruits: The stories behind Britain’s traditional fruit and vegetables


A Guide to Britain’s Traditional Fruit and Vegetables from Orange Jelly Gooseberries and Dan’s Mistake Turnips

By Christopher Stocks
Windmill Books
2009 – 320 pages

Description from Guardian Bookstore:

Britain has an extraordinarily rich heritage of traditional varieties of fruit and vegetables, but how many of us know the fascinating and sometimes eccentric stories behind them?

Who was the Mr Cox, for example, who gave his name to Cox’s Orange Pippins, now the most popular apple in the world? Which conference were Conference pears named after? Where do Victoria plums really come from? What is so mysterious about the apple called the Bascombe Mystery? What role did beetroot play in ending the slave trade, and how did gooseberries help Charles Darwin arrive at his theory of evolution? Who started the uniquely British love-affair with rhubarb and runner beans? When and where was growing potatoes illegal? And how was the Spanish Inquisition responsible for our carrots being orange?

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December 23, 2013   Comments Off

Vancouver’s Mayor Opens ‘Largest Urban Orchard in North America’

Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson (left) and Solefood’s Michael Ableman (right) plant a fruit tree, on July 7, as they open an urban orchard on a vacant Vancouver lot at Main & Terminal. Photograph by: Ward Perrin, PNG.

More than 400 trees have been planted to bring new life to vacant Vancouver lot

By Zoe Mcknight
Vancouver Sun
July 7, 2013


VANCOUVER, BC — A forgotten brownfield at the corner of urban and industrial is not the place you’d expect to find lemon, fig and persimmon trees bearing fruit.

But in three to five years, over 400 trees planted on a vacant lot at Main Street and Terminal Avenue should do just that in what the City of Vancouver is calling the largest urban orchard in North America.

The orchard is run by Solefood co-founder Michael Ableman, who with partner Seann Dory already grows produce on nearly five acres scattered across downtown Vancouver.

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July 8, 2013   Comments Off

A Map of Every Urban Plant You Can Snack On


Over 5,000 examples of cherry, pear and apple trees, not to mention olives (4,442), plums (1,424) and almonds (343)

By Henry Grabar
The Atlantic Cities
June 28, 2013


Last summer, Ethan Welty stopped buying fruit. He didn’t need to pay for it anymore: he could pick nearly everything he needed from the trees on the streets of Boulder, Colorado.

At first, he scanned the canopy for apples to use in his home-brewed beer. But there was more. Hanging in the sidewalk foliage were peaches, apricots, walnuts, mulberries and plums. And so Welty, a PhD student researching glacier movement, began to map the urban orchard.

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July 6, 2013   Comments Off

Wildflowers or Apples? Can’t We Have Both? – Urban Orchards are Good

Cherries. Image via Flickr, by Gordana.

William Kerrigan is the Cole Professor of American History at Muskingum University, and the author of Johnny Appleseed and the American Orchard, which tells the story of the old world apple in America

By William Kerrigan
American Orchard
June 15, 2013


The problem with Ms. Anzelone’s argument that urban orchards and food forests are “monocultures” is that it doesn’t much resemble reality, and she could learn a great deal by visiting these sites and speaking with their volunteers. Organizations like the Philadelphia Orchard Project aren’t exactly planting acres of “monoculture.” These modest-sized orchards typically incorporate a variety of fruit and nut trees and berry bushes, with each variety blossoming at different times, thereby offering pollinators an extended feeding period. The Boston Tree Party’s “urban, decentralized orchard” is really just pairs of apple trees dispersed throughout the city. Seattle’s new Beacon Food Forest, currently just 1.5 acres with aspirations to grow to a total of 7 acres, explodes with edible plant diversity. In fact, most urban orchards contain gardens of other flowering plants as well.

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June 19, 2013   Comments Off

Greedy Gardeners – Urban Orchards are Bad

Illustration by Lilli Carré.

Mariellé Anzelone, an urban conservation biologist, is the executive director of NYC Wildflower Week.

By Marielle Anzelone
New York Times
June 14, 2013


Rooftop vegetable gardens were one thing, but the urban agricultural movement has gone a step too far. A new brand of activists want to incorporate fruit trees into the fabric of city life by turning our limited green space into woody groves filled with apples, cherries and plums. One group, the Guerrilla Grafters, has gone so far as to graft the branches of fruit trees onto street-side ornamental trees in San Francisco.

At first blush these campaigns appear well intentioned. The groups are planting trees in underserved neighborhoods to provide access to healthy foods. What could be wrong with that? Don’t misunderstand me, I like fruit as much as the next person. It’s not the orchards themselves that irk me — it’s the shortsightedness they represent.

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June 19, 2013   Comments Off

Historic Orchards in London


Urban Fruit for Urban Communities

By The London Orchard Project

This map gives a historical overview of the extent of orchards in London in the 1890s – with a noticeable concentration of orchards in South-West London. It shows the importance of orchards to feed the capital in late Victorian times.

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June 9, 2013   Comments Off

1000 tree, one acre urban orchard coming to Vancouver

Solefood’s urban farms supply high-quality produce to farmers markets and about 30 local restaurants; fruit trees are coming soon. Photo by Catcall.

Nonprofit organization hopes more food production will help provide longer-term work for employees

By Yolande Cole
Georgia Straight
March 28, 2013


In May, the social enterprise plans to expand with a one-acre urban orchard located on a city-owned site at Main Street and Terminal Avenue.

Michael Ableman, cofounder of Solefood, said the orchard will feature nearly 1,000 trees, bearing fruit such as quince, persimmon, Meyer lemons, pears, and plums.

“I think this is exciting, because it’s breaking new ground, if you will,” Ableman told the Georgia Straight by phone from his home on Salt Spring Island. “Relative to anything else in the city, it’s pretty significant, and I think that if we can prove it as a potential system, we could see these types of trees lining the boulevards of all our streets and changing the atmosphere of our cities.”

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March 29, 2013   Comments Off

Princess Park Children’s Play Garden in Toronto


Our garden has 4 kinds of fruit trees; apple, pear, peach and cherry.

By Dan O’leary
Coordinatinor Princess Park Children’s Play Garden
March 3, 2013

Its the first week of March and the time to prune fruit trees is now.  

Pruning means to cut away unwanted branches. Pruning devices are used to make the cuts.  They are like oversized scissors and are  called secateurs.  Pruning is done to control shape of the tree,  remove diseased areas  and take off branches that touch so fruit production is maximized.  

Our garden has 4 kinds of fruit trees; apple, pear, peach and cherry.

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March 4, 2013   Comments Off