I’m working on an article about community orchards. These are fruit or nut tree orchards grown as a community endeavor with participants sharing in the work and harvest, donating part of the harvest to others or selling produce locally. Often these orchards are part of a community garden, but not always.
The article will be published on the American Community Gardening Association website. I’m hoping to share what it takes to create and manage an orchard and include your personal experiences. As we know, there is a lot we can learn from one another.
Yesterday, Emily Burkhard from WNYT News Channel 13 spent the afternoon at the Pitney Meadows Community Farm and did a great segment that included our beekeeper, Jenn Dunn; the plans for the 166-acre farm and the flourishing community gardens.
Burkhard and her videographer, Josh, were at the farm interviewing and enjoying the gardens and butterflies for several hours. During that time, Burkhard learned the process of extracting honey from bee hives, toured the community gardens, spoke with gardeners and asked great questions about plans for the farm’s future that were answered by Farm Director Ken Kleinpeter.
It was fun to be able to share what has been accomplished at Pitney Meadows in just a year.
The videography on the story captures the beauty of the farm and the continuation of its agricultural legacy.
Annabelle Shuck from Girl Scout troop #3359 harvested 19 pounds of fresh produce from plots the scouts tend at Pitney Meadows Community Gardens. All summer, the Girl Scouts have watered and weeded and yesterday the organically grown vegetables were delivered to Franklin Community Center’s food pantry. Kudos to the girls and to troop leaders Carolina Mitchell and Jess Clauser for a job well done.
Mom, who is 90 years-old, has been hearing about the Pitney Meadows Community Gardens for months now with telephone updates on the progress of the crops, the butterfly garden, the sunflowers and the activities. This week she came to see for herself.
Here she is harvesting basil for Franklin Community Center’s food pantry. She was a happy camper enjoying being outdoors, moving the chair a little at a time to work around the trough, and meeting the gardeners who came by.
She kept saying how peaceful she felt. “It’s a healing sanctuary,” she said. “I don’t want to leave.”
And when we dropped the basil off at FCC she said how happy it made her feel to be part of the sharing.