Friday, February 22, 2013

No Orchard Left Behind

Fruit Tree Tour and Planting Justice

Here’s an interesting tidbit for all you contemporary anthropologists following the emergence of post-modern School Orchard Movement in California. Common Vision’s collaboration with Planting Justice is proof positive that orchards can outlive institutions, and keep communities together in the process.

Case in point is a school orchard planted back in 2008 at Explore College Preparatory Middle School in Oakland. Sadly, the school has since closed due to funding cuts. In the case of this school closing, there was an orchard left behind, and a community that came together to care for it. Feeling good yet?

This 20-tree fruity oasis is not your average urban orchard either. It is situated on a steep slope perfect for a swale to soak up rainwater. We really love putting our permaculture skills to work whenever the landscape allows. On this visit, we installed a new drip irrigation system to help the community easily keep up on watering, especially during the East Bay’s warmer (ahem) months.

And it gets even better. Since the school closed, our friends at
Planting Justice stepped in and set up a program to host work parties and alert neighbors when fruit is ripe and ready for the picking. Planting Justice is a non-profit organization based in Oakland, CA dedicated to food justice, economic justice, and sustainable local food systems.

They are the first organization of their kind to combine ecological training and urban food production with a grassroots door-to-door organizing model.  They make sure that urban orchards grow deep roots in their local community.

So, when you donate to Common Vision, or any group in the School Orchard Movement, you really are leaving behind a living legacy that creates community, and that’s gotta feel good!

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