Community orchard coming to Sackville

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Community orchard will feature a diversity of both traditional and novel varieties of fruit and nut trees

The public is invited to an upcoming edible landscaping workshop and summer solstice celebration at the Sackville Community Garden.

SACKVILLE, N.B. – In a continued effort to bring beautiful landscapes and healthy local food to the citizens of Sackville, Community Forests International (CFI) and the Sackville Community Garden (SCG) are teaming up again this summer, with plans to break ground for a community orchard within the town’s limits.

The community orchard will feature a diversity of both traditional and novel varieties of fruit and nut trees specially suited to the local growing conditions, and will be open for the public to enjoy year-round.

Funding for the project is provided in part by Tree Canada (a charity that supports community tree-planting across the country) and it’s 2014 Edible Trees program partners Silk and Telus.

“Anyone who has spent time in an orchard can tell you how beautiful they are,”says Estelle Drisdelle, education coordinator for Community Forests International. “The spring blossoms, watching fruit grow - and there is nothing better than eating fresh fruit right off the tree! A community orchard will allow people in Sackville to enjoy this experience and contribute to local food security. I look forward to sharing knowledge and helping to create a healthy community here.”

Theresa Richards, chair of the Sackville Community Garden, said they are extremely excited to have the opportunity to partner with Community Forests International to learn and teach new community food skills, skills that extend beyond traditional backyard gardening to include fostering spaces for foraging and wild harvesting.

“The Tree Canada initiative is a perfect fit for our community garden which strives to encourage healthy eating while cultivating beautiful natural spaces,” Richards said.

The community orchard will be located on Charles Street, at the site of the town’s existing community garden, and will build on past CFI-SCG collaborative successes.

In 2009, the two organizations established a demonstration ‘Food Forest’ garden onsite; an edible landscape inspired by a woodland ecosystem that includes butternut and apple trees, wild grape and elderberry, currants, wild ginger, and several other edible and medicinal plants. The Sackville Food Forest is now over six years old and flourishing without aid, supporting itself by supporting a diversity of life and ecological functions often lacking in conventional gardens.

The Sackville Community Garden is flourishing as well, attracting additional members each year, and will likely involve over 200 community members in the 2014 growing season.

Anyone wanting to get involved can join organizers on June 21 for an edible landscaping workshop and summer solstice celebration at the Sackville Community Garden. This workshop, which takes place from 12:30-4:30 p.m., will explore designing and planting an edible landscape in one’s own backyard. The community barbecue will follow. To register, visit www.forestsinternational.org, or call Community Forests International at (506) 536-3738. Topics covered will include site assessment for design; choosing trees, shrubs, herbs and flowers for edible landscaping; how to plant and care for trees; how to use trees and herbs for food and medicine; and creating habitat for beneficial critters.

 

Organizations: Community Forests International, Sackville Community Garden, Tree Canada Telus

Geographic location: Sackville, Charles Street

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