Consider this apparent oxymoron: urban orchards.
It’s a reality in Philadelphia, the sixth largest city by population in the United States.
Enabling the creation of urban orchards is exactly what the Philadelphia Orchard Project (POP) is doing. This nonprofit organization plants and supports community orchards in the city of Philadelphia. Growing locally is one way to increase access to fresh fruit and vegetables and expand sustainability.
Philadelphia Orchard Project helps boost nutritional intake by increasing access to fresh fruit and vegetables for often under-served inner city populations. POP requires that “the harvest (or proceeds from its sale) go to benefit low-wealth communities.”
According to POP, “the exact mix of trees and plants in each orchard depends upon our community partner’s preferences as well as strategies for sustaining healthy, productive orchards.” This includes, for example:
- Fruit and Nut Trees: almonds, apples, Asian pears, peaches, plums and more
- Shrubs and Berry Bushes: blueberries, blackberries, raspberries and more