We had our first big community planting day on April 21st. HYS volunteers of all ages were joined by UMass interns, local youth, passers by and families walking along the path for a long day's work at the center of the Nagle Walkway, on the Rail Trail between Conz and Pleasant st. in Northampton.
We built 6 raised beds in total - the wood for four of them - local white pine - was donated by Lashaway Lumber in Williamsburg. Two were made from salvaged American chestnut beams from a collapsed barn at Beale's Hill farm in Plainfield. Household compost and top soil from nearby Maple Ave and a generous heap of compost donated by Bill of Bear Path Farm in Whatley. In the beds we planted arugula, peas, lemon grass, lettuce, kale, hot peppers, tomatoes, marigold, cilantro and chamomile.
We also planted 75 grape vines up the majority of the cedar fence posts, purchased with funds from this past falls fundraiser. All told, we put in 50 Concord and 25 Steuben grapes, each boosted with green sand, rock phosphate, lime, and root innoculant. Also planted were flowers like clematis vines, roses, coreopsis flowers, irises, nasturtium, hydrangeas, lilies, and hostas. Later in the spring, we're hoping to plant 15-25 fruit trees along this 700 foot section of the bike path. Stay tuned, and thanks for your support!
The article describes the effort of Fallen Fruit, a group working outside Los Angeles to plant public land, playground, parks, and neighborhoods with fruit trees, as well as other projects in Seattle and Chicago. Let's keep talking about this! View the article's full text here.
Tasty, and Subversive Too:
DEL AIRE, Calif. — Fruit looms large in the California psyche. Since the 1800s, dewy images of oranges, lemons and other fruits have been a lure for seekers of the state’s postcard essence, symbols of fertile land, felicitous climate and the possibilities of pleasure.
Now a cheeky trio of artists have turned fruit trees into cultural symbols as well. The group, known as Fallen Fruit, recently planted what is being billed as the state’s first public fruit park in an unincorporated community with neatly clipped lawns outside Los Angeles.