Community orchards in urban areas

Public vegetable gardens in Todmorden, UK

Public vegetable gardens in Todmorden, UK

My gardening group and I had been eying up our local play ground/sports grounds, thinking wouldn't it be great if we could plant fruit and nut trees all around the edges.

We approached our city council for permission and much to our surprise, they were happy for us to do it and specified where we could plant. They also gave us a grant of $500 for some trees!

The council gardener also approached the tree crops association who donated more trees. We ended up with 27 fruit and nut trees.

Our local newspaper put our planting day in the garden section and about forty people came to help.

It was a great day which bought the community a little closer and our trees are just over a year old now. There are walnuts, macadamias, almonds, hazel nuts, chestnuts, apples, figs, plums and feijoas.

How many parks, playgrounds, road verges and schools are there out there that would benefit from a few more trees, and edible varieties at that?

Absolutely! And congratulations on your efforts. I am not sure if you know about Todmorden, but it is on old industrial town in Northern UK, of about 55, 000 people that started like you, and they are hoping to be self-sufficient by 2018.

Some 3 and a half years ago, a grandmother of 10 and her friend were bemoaning that state of the world in general when it struck them that perhaps instead of moaning about it, they could do something positive for their community.

The decided that it would be a great idea to plant the town's beds with edibles. So far, they have more than 70 beds planted in the town and not only has it brought a community together, but it has also lowered the crime rate. People are proud of their town and what they have achieved.

So don't stop! There is so much more to achieve. Todmorden is your blueprint. The snowball continues, as now it is a place that tour buses stop at and bring their tourists!

All the very best, be inspired, and congratulations again for what many haven't ever achieved! Let's hope other readers will be inspired by your story.

Countryfarm Lifestyles

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