The Orchard Planning Committee has selected a wide variety of fruit trees and bushes for the orchard the Community Garden won in the Edy’s National Fruit Tree Planting Foundation contest.
Some of the varieties were chosen at the committee’s recent inaugural meeting. Others were selected by committee members who researched various types of trees and bushes after the meeting. Those selections have been shared with other committee members by email. Nicole Maslanka, the Community Garden Board member who submitted the orchard application to the Edy’s contest, said she expects all the recommendations will be approved at the next Orchard Planning Committee meeting.
That meeting will be held this Thursday, Aug. 2 at 6:30 p.m. at the Community Garden in Brook Run Park. Committee members will walk the site during the meeting to look at spacing allocated on the planting plan. The goal is to make sure everything they’ve chosen to plant will fit.
To aid in final placement for different types of fruit, Karen Converse has taken soil samples from several spots on the orchard site. She has submitted a report on the results of the soil tests to the Committee.
To help plant the trees and bushes, Andy Batcheller of Handy Andy Outdoors, a local landscape company, has volunteered to provide a 24-inch auger to dig the planting holes and the personnel to run it. Andy has helped the garden before, and he is very generous in giving back to the community, Community Garden President Don Converse said in an e-mail to committee members.
The plan, Maslanka said, is to extend the deer fencing around the vegetable plots to enclose the orchard and protect the trees and fruit from deer. When planted, the orchard will serve as a portico and entrance to the vegetable garden.
Once a planting date has been selected, the committee will seek community volunteers to help plant the orchard. The planting will include a community celebration with representatives from Edy’s attending.
The type of trees anf the number of varieties selected at the first committee are:
- Apple: 11.
- Pear: 5.
- Plums: 3. Varieties were selected at the meeting. They are: Methley, AU Robusto, AU Producer.
- Persimmon: 1.
- Pomegranate: 1. The variety Ambrosia was selected.
- Pawpaw: 2. Varieties to be selected.
- Blueberries: 15 bushes.
The committee also decided to consider other fruits for the orchard. Those are:
- Native berries (elderberries, loganberries, dewberries, goji, huckleberries and mulberries). Christy Ernst and Sean Curley are researching these berries for consideration and will recommend types and varieties for the final selection. It was pointed out that many of the Community Garden members are “juicers” and are interested in having access to berries for their nutritional value.
- Muscadine. Boim is looking into design elements that would allow shade areas in the main garden.
- Kiwi. The possibility of adding more kiwis to the greenhouse area was discussed to allow for pollination with an existing plant.
- Papaya. Richard Watkins asked about the possibility of obtaining plants to be grown in the greenhouse.
The Community Garden is also in the process of seeking to become a Master Gardener site in DeKalb County and is applying to the Audubon Society to become a bird sanctuary.