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Category — Fruit

Growing Urban Orchards: How to Care for Fruit Trees in the City and Beyond

The author teaches fruit tree care workshops

By Susan Poizner
Orchard People
Oct. 24 2017

Learn how to care for fruit trees in the city and beyond. Fruit trees are delicate and need specialized care, especially when they’re planted in an urban environment, which comes with its own unique challenges. Whether you want to plant a single fruit tree or an entire orchard, this book will show you how to save time and money and be successful right from the start.

An orchardist and fruit tree care educator, Susan Poizner guides novices and experts alike through every step of the process. She describes which key elements are necessary in site preparation, offers a basic overview of the anatomy of fruit trees, and explains how to select trees.

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January 9, 2018   No Comments

Ireland: The Social Hops Project

The Social Hops Project, a community hop-growing project founded in 2016, is the brainchild of Andrew Douglas, best known for setting up Dublin’s Urban farm.

By Gabrielle Monaghan
Independent IE
December 25 2017

Excerpt:

The Social Hops Project, a community hop-growing project founded in 2016, is the brainchild of Andrew Douglas, best known for setting up Dublin’s Urban farm.

The three-year project is aimed at illustrating the need for more local hop production and reducing the beer miles associated with importing hops. The collective hop-growing initiative was partly inspired by a London-based project called Palace Pint, which encourages beer-lovers to plant a few hop plants in their garden or in pots on their balcony or patio.

At Social Hops, individual growers pick up a starter pack that includes a hop rhizome, training string for the tall plants, organic fertiliser and instructions for planting every March at The Bernard Shaw pub in Dublin.

The growers then meet back at the pub in September to harvest the fruits of their work and share beer and pizza. The hops are passed on straight away to Rascals Brewing, which rewards the volunteers with a local wet-hopped beer made with the hops at another session in October. The beer is then sold on the market to help the brewer recover its production costs.

Read the complete article here.

See Social Hops.

December 31, 2017   Comments Off on Ireland: The Social Hops Project

Urban Farmers pick up excess fruits in yards in Contra Costa County

Tangerines are picked by Pat Alger, of Brentwood, left, Vicki Grant, of Pleasanton, center, and Anirban Chowdhury, of Antioch, at a tree where the owner donated all the fruit in in Oakley, Calif. Fruit is picked up by White Pony Express and distributed to food banks. (Susan Tripp Pollard/Bay Area News Group)

The program divides the various Contra Costa County communities in sections with a group volunteer harvest leader that takes care of each section.

By Roni Gehlke
East Bay Times
December 3, 2017

Excerpt:

While we usually think of helping feed those in need during this time of year, The Urban Farmers harvest fruit from trees all year-long and requires a lot of volunteer help to keep the program going. Not only are they always looking for those who are interested in donating their harvest, but they are always in need of volunteers to harvest the fruit.

The program divides the various Contra Costa County communities in sections with a group volunteer harvest leader that takes care of each section. When a call comes in that trees are ready to harvest a section, the harvest leaders organizes volunteers to help harvest. Harvest leaders are also on the list of volunteers needed. This program only takes a few hours a month for harvest leaders and volunteer harvesters.

A few students from local high schools looking to fulfill their community service hours even have gotten in on the fun of volunteering for this group.

“While our (high school) seniors are required to earn community service hours, this is one activity they love to do and look forward to,” said Brentwood resident and Oakley’s Freedom High School science teacher, John Sierra. “Many of them have never picked their own food, and they’re tasting things like persimmons and pomegranates that many have never had before.”

Read the complete article here.

December 11, 2017   Comments Off on Urban Farmers pick up excess fruits in yards in Contra Costa County

Touring an Detroit urban vineyard

Blake Kownacki introduces the urban vineyard.

Detroit Vineyards (detroitvineyards.com), founded in 2014, is a unique urban winery and is the first operating winery in Detroit in more than 60 years.

By Emily Pochubay
Record Eagle
Nov 11, 2017

Excerpt:

According to Blake Kownacki, Detroit Vineyard co-founder, winemaker and vineyard manager, Michigan has one of the oldest wine industries in the country. Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac, the founder of Detroit, established a vineyard along the Detroit River circa 1702, one of the first in North America.

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November 18, 2017   Comments Off on Touring an Detroit urban vineyard

Hundreds of volunteers pick persimmons for food banks in Vacaville, California

Colin McGlibery of Pleasant Hill harvests persimmons at Charlotte’s Orchard in Vacaville. (Aaron Rosenblatt/Daily Republic)

Volunteers will harvest more than 50,000 pounds of fruit for donation between this Saturday and next. All fruit will be distributed among food banks, local food pantries, shelters and community dining halls.

By Susan Hiland
Daily Republic
Oct 22, 2017

Excerpt:

Charlotte Sturgeon lost her husband in 2006. He had big plans for the persimmon trees he planted but without him no one in the family knew his plans. That year, the round, orange fruit rotted and Sturgeon couldn’t stand to see that happen.

“We didn’t know what to do,” daughter-in-law Laurie Sturgeon said.

Her mother-in-law got in touch with The Urban Farmers, a nonprofit organization in Lafayette that harvests excess backyard fruit to donate to those in need.

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October 28, 2017   Comments Off on Hundreds of volunteers pick persimmons for food banks in Vacaville, California

The Ghost Orchard: The Hidden History of the Apple in North America

How the apple first came across the Atlantic Ocean with a relatively unknown Quaker woman long before the more famed “Johnny Appleseed”

By Helen Humphreys
The Ghost Orchard
Publisher: HarperCollins
09/05/2017

Reviewer: Dana Hansen
Quill and Quire

Her research and travels reveal that, at one time, so-called Indian orchards (defined in 19th-century dictionaries as orchards of ungrafted apple trees) existed all across the U.S. and in southern Ontario. The apple, she discovers, became an essential food to the Iroquois, the Seneca, the Oneida, the Algonquian, the Cherokee, and many other Indigenous peoples, and they were very successful in growing extensive, thriving orchards. Dreadfully and with dire results, many if not most of these orchards were either destroyed or violently appropriated by white settlers. “It is no accident that many of the white settlements sprang up where there was an Indigenous orchard. But first, of course, the original owners had to be vanquished. The apple thus became, in its infancy in North America, a tool for colonialism.”

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October 18, 2017   Comments Off on The Ghost Orchard: The Hidden History of the Apple in North America

UK: Community fruit garden planted in the town of Didcot


Picture by Joszef Miholka / J.M. Photos

Amongst the supporters were town councillor Charlie Robertson, who said: “This is the kind of thing that should be happening more and more often. Not only does it improve the aesthetics of the town, but it also gets the whole community involved.”

Oxfordshire Guardian
Dec 8, 2016

Excerpt:

Dwarf fruit trees (apple, pear, cherry and plum), currants, raspberries and strawberries in raised beds have been planted outside Cornerstone Arts Centre as part of the community group’s ‘Incredible Edible Didcot’ project.

The event took place on plant beds next to Cornerstone Arts Centre in the midst of Didcot’s first food festival.

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December 16, 2016   Comments Off on UK: Community fruit garden planted in the town of Didcot

FAO: Guidelines on urban and peri-urban forestry

faofor

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)

whst
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

hopr
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

frukara
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

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