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Category — Fruit

Documentary: “Food Cartographers” track food growing in the wild in cities

The conclusion of Welty’s Boulder study is that residents could get their produce from urban agriculture five to six months a year.

By Anna Maria Barry-Jester
Dec 16, 2014


Last week, FiveThirtyEight and ESPN Films published the first in a series of short documentaries called The Collectors, profiles of people who use data in innovative ways. “Cartographers of the Edible World” introduced Evan Welty and Caleb Phillips, who built an open-source, user-generated website that catalogs the location of edible plants all over the world. When the two men met, Phillips was interested in technology for social organizing. Welty was using publicly available data to map arable land. They both had maps for personal use that helped them forage food from city parks and public spaces in Boulder, Colorado, where they live.

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December 17, 2014   Comments Off

Kelowna Fruit Tree Project brings in more than 36,000 pounds of food from backyards

Casey Hamilton: ‘ We have so many apples right now we can’t give them away.’

About 30 per cent of the fruit is split between the volunteers and homeowners

By Randy Shore
Vancouver Sun
Nov 8, 2014


The Okanagan is the most productive fruit- growing region in Canada, and what began as a committee of the Central Okanagan Food Policy Council quickly took on a life of its own. Hamilton organized 85 picks this season, in backyards and a handful of orchards, exceeding the project’s goal of 25,000 pounds of fruit by more than 10,000 pounds.

In just three years, the organization has grown to more than 400 volunteers in Kelowna and Penticton, some of them the very people the fresh fruit was meant to benefit, including people with developmental disabilities and people transitioning from street life.

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November 9, 2014   Comments Off

Chestnut farmer on the outskirts of Portland, Oregon

A Low-Tech Organic Chestnut Farmer from Cooking Up a Story on Vimeo.

Chris Foster of Cascadia Chestnuts

By Rebecca Gerendasy
Cooking Up a Story
Oct 14, 2014


I’ve had a curiosity about chestnuts for many years – since childhood, actually. We used to go Fall hunting for the ‘perfect’ chestnut as they fell to the ground. But those were horse chestnuts, not the edible type. There was the old classic song, Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire, kept alive most notably by the Nat King Cole version. But the edible kind weren’t available by the time I was growing up – most of the big American chestnut trees were wiped out by a fungus in the early 1900’s. For me, chestnuts were a mythical food.

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October 14, 2014   Comments Off

Airdrie’s community orchard brings urban agriculture to park – Alberta, Canada

Airdrie Mayor Peter Brown addressed the audience at the community orchard planting event at Jensen Park on Sept. 20, expressing his excitement about what this project will bring to the neighbourhood and the city. Photo by Jessi owan/Rocky View Publishig.

This is such a great way to give residents access to fresh food.

By Jessi Gowan
Airdrie City View
Sep 25, 2014


“We are trying to tie into that potential within the community to grow our own fruits and vegetables, and I think this is a really great initiative and a great start,” said Airdrie Mayor Peter Brown, at the community planting event on Sept. 20.

“We’ve always been known as a farming community when you look back at our history, and we still are in the surrounding area. This is one of the first steps as to what urban agriculture could look like here, turning what would otherwise be just grass into something that we can use, take care of and nurture.”

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October 4, 2014   Comments Off

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