Community Fruit Trees
We are very excited to be launching the Community Fruit Tree Project by planting 100 community fruit trees in Orlando, Florida! You might be wondering, what exactly is a community fruit tree?
Well, it’s pretty simple. A community fruit tree is a publicly owned fruit tree that is easily accessible for anyone to pick from. A sign next to the tree invites people to enjoy the fruit as well as giving information about the tree such as when it flowers and fruits. Each tree can be found on an online map (coming soon) and fallingfruit.org as well. We will plant community fruit trees at locations such as residential front yards and businesses along the sidewalk, the medians between streets and sidewalk, public schools, public parks, and along bike trails. The idea is to put fruit right where people walk every day and make it as accessible as it can be.
Although the idea may be simple, it is a world away from the industrial, globalized food system where most of us get our food today. Most people today purchase fruit from the store that has traveled from across the nation, or even across the world, in fossil fuel powered trucks, ships and planes. It’s picked before it’s ripe, which means it has not developed its peak flavor or nutrition and is likely bred for shipping and storage rather than flavor and nutrition. Fruit from a community fruit tree is a totally different ball game. It is not monetized. No financial transaction takes place at all. Nature and community instead provide for each other. And the fruit is likely to be some of the freshest and richest that can be found. We’re on a mission to wake people up to the idea that food doesn’t have to come from the store. It can be growing all around us!
One fruit tree might cost us around $20 to $30 to plant and some time, but it has the potential to produce fruit for multiple generations of people. For the cost of a few bags of fruit, we can instead produce thousands of pounds of fruit that can feed hundreds of people over its lifetime. Fruit trees are one of the greatest investments we can make for our health, our community and the improvement of our natural environment. Fruit trees require minimal input at the start and minimal maintenance in the long run.
Through the Community Fruit Tree Project, we aim to ensure that our neighbors have access to quality healthy food, reduce hunger, improve our natural environment for both people and other species, create a deeper connection to our food, and create independence from the globalized, industrial food system. A community fruit tree strengthens communities by bringing people together over food, creating a sharing mindset, and improving the air, soil, and water.
We are currently looking for locations to plant Community Fruit Trees. We have about 50 trees left. We are looking to plant in front yards, businesses, community gardens, community centers, churches, etc. Please contact [email protected] if you have a location(s) that you think would be good for Community Free Trees.
Community Fruit Trees is a grassroots project led by Rob Greenfield and the Live Like Ally Foundation. We are launching the project by planting 100 trees in Orlando and will plant the trees from April to June 2018. Our hopes are to inspire and empower people to plant hundreds of more fruit trees across the nation. You are invited to get involved by planting trees in your own community. Contact us at [email protected] if you would like to.
Are you a part of the Community Fruit Tree program in Orlando? Join our Facebook Group.
Have questions about planting and caring for Community Fruit Trees? Visit our Community Fruit Tree Care Guide.
You can also check out the resource page from The Fruit Tree Planting Foundation. The resources they offer include a guide to planting fruit trees, how to prune fruit trees, a hardiness zone chart and more.