On this year’s Martin Luther King Jr Day, we took our first steps towards our new dream: public orchards in poor neighborhoods. Working with two other organizations, Friends of English Avenue and Help Org Inc, we were part of a Hands On Atlanta volunteer day project to start our first mini-orchard on Elm Street in English Avenue. With dozens of workers, we cleared debris, dug beds, mulched pathways, and generally got the lot spic and span. The only work we have left is to finally plant the trees once they arrive later this month.
The neighborhood has been extremely enthusiastic and supportive. In fact, passersby we chatted with often complained that they didn’t know if they would be able to eat ripe fruit from the trees because everyone would pick them clean and eat all the fruit before it ripened. I heard this as a challenge to plant enough trees to out-grow the neighborhood’s demand for fruit.
We have been offered a few other lots to plant fruit trees on in the same neighborhood. While we dot our i’s and cross our t’s with the details, keep an eye open for chances to help us out in the future with this new and rewarding venture. And extra special thanks to all those that chipped in to get us the money we needed to make this possible!