The Community Orchard

I’ve shown photos of the Community Garden here, but it’s actually a Community Garden and Orchard.

Above the garden area, separated by a small forest of trees and a creek, there is a very large slope which is mostly grass, but around which we’ve scattered fruit trees and other edibles. Let me give you a photographic tour:

From the path up from the garden, the first part of the orchard you come to is the fig orchard (this is on the right side of the panoramic photo above). This space has been demarcated with a wattle fence, which weeds have completely overgrown. There are maybe 20 (ish?) fig trees planted in here – several different varieties. Some years we’ve planted other annual crops around the base of the fig trees (I remember one year we tried growing melons with not much success). That’s obviously not going to happen this year. Too many weeds.

Looking back at the fig orchard toward the path to the garden

Across the lawn, up the slope is what we call “the edible hedge.” This next photo is a view from the fig orchard looking up at the edible hedge (the cluster of trees and bushes in the mid/right side of the photo).

The edible hedge was established several years before the community garden was created. It separates the lawn from the street, and all of the plants in it are, in fact, edible (surprise surprise). My favorite is the quince tree, but there are also aronia berries, goji berries, an apricot tree, plum trees, seabuckthorn berry, a mulberry tree and many others whose names I don’t know.

The edible hedge from the street/sidwalk side
The edible hedge from the lawn

Going back down across the lawn there are some crabapple, apple, and plum trees planted along a trail into the woods that leads back down the tennis courts next to the Community Garden.

Continuing along the lawn away from the fig orchard, and you’ll come to more plum trees, and at least one chestnut tree. (This area corresponds to the left-hand side of the panorama photo.) We also tried growing paw paw trees, but I don’t see them anymore, so they must not have survived.

This concludes our tour of the orchard. I don’t spend a lot of time working up in the orchard, so I tend to forget about it until its time to harvest plums or quince or chestnuts. The quince are my absolute favorite, and I will miss them when I move.

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