Community Orchard kick off!!!

“At a time of unprecedented alienation from nature and knowledge about where our food comes from, Community Orchards are reviving interest in fruit growing. They provide a way to share knowledge and horticultural skills and stimulate us into growing our food again. In the face of climate change, the need to reduce food miles makes the provision of locally grown food ever more urgent Community Orchards can offer places for quiet contemplation and [centers] for local festivities; they act as carbon sinks, reservoirs for local varieties of fruit, and refuges for all manner of [wildlife].” – (King, Angela and Sue Clifford. 2008. Community Orchards Handbook. Common Ground, Dorset, England.)

In 2016 the Home Orchard Society received an Oregon City/Metro Community Enhancement grant for our Community Orchard Initiative project. The Community Orchard Initiative was selected as a way to broaden awareness of the orchard and encourage participation and involvement. Establishing a community orchard in Oregon City will increase access to locally grown organic fruit for households of varying socioeconomic backgrounds. Excess produce from the orchard will be donated to food banks and organizations serving low income residents within Oregon City limits. Everyone involved in our programs will gain hands-on training and education focusing on nutrition, organic food production / gardening and environmental stewardship. In addition, we provide a sense of community and teamwork by providing a family friendly, recreational outlet enriching all of our lives.

Benefits:
• Free entry to all arboretum “workshops”
• Fresh fruit from our orchard throughout our harvest season (May-November)
• Hands-on organic gardening and orcharding experience
• Exercise benefits the mind and body
• Access to propagation material from many differing plant species
• Access to fresh medicinal and culinary herbs that are grown in the orchard
• New friends

*There are no residency requirements, which means you don’t have to live in Oregon City to participate!

Cost of participation:
• $75 fee per year
• 45 hours of service work per year

Contact our Arboretum Manager, Tonia, for a registration packet: arboretum@homeorchardsociety.org