Is this a memo from the universe? I returned home from a fabulous research trip to Seattle when a friend sent this photo via the Hunger Site (above) which I promptly shared on FaceBook. The response was immediate and overwhelming.
Some of the comments read like this:
“A fabulous idea.”
“We have one growing in Boise now.”
“Nice plan, but who is going to maintain it?”
“Very good idea until someone gets greedy…”
“… they will have to post guards around it to keep vandals from destroying all the good work….”
“Love this concept, hope it’s a great success!”
It makes sense, doesn’t it? Yes, it’s right to be concerned about vandalism. That’s real. But is it enough to not move forward with such a project? That’s like saying, “I’m not driving to the market because I could get in an accident.” We still get in our cars, ride bikes and walk down streets shared with other vehicles. Even with the possibility of an accident. That’s living.
So what if growing food or caring for existing edible perennials and fruit trees were to become part of the framework for cities and towns?
City Fruit is a perfect example of another, existing Seattle based organization dedicated to caring for fruit trees. Many are apples but there are others like plums. They tend to community orchards, assist homeowners with basic tree care and eventually send volunteers out to harvest fruit where needed. Nothing goes to waste. Last year their total harvest was nearly 14 tons! It’s basically awesome.
Eventually, if apples don’t go to people in need it becomes cider, bringing the community together in what is truly a celebration of growing and eating.
When I heard about City Fruit’s community cider pressing events and classes I knew I had to see it for myself. People line up their growlers, join in apple slicing, turning the press or simply enjoy a cup of cider and a chance to visit with friends while waiting.
Everything goes in, including apples damaged by pests. Fruit that might otherwise go uneaten ends up in a bottle ready for drinking. It’s perfect and the cider tastes amazing.
This was the reason I went to Seattle. What does it look like when a community creates edible landscapes, cares for them and shares in the bounty?
In the words of my FaceBook friends,
“… a great success!”
Huge thanks to Kate and her crew at City Fruit and City People’s Garden Store for a warm welcome. Love what you do.