Sunday, April 4, 2010

Happy Easter! A Community Orchard is in the works

This glorious image also came from Lois, on the day I purchased a cherry tree to plant in our yard. She writes:
Having enjoyed "April in February" here in the Pacific Northwest, we are now being treated to "February in April" and are confused as to which of the two months is actually crueler. But the cherry trees are in bloom, and "wearing white for Easter tide."

Here in Bloomington, the magnolias are in full flower. And we are trying to win a community orchard!  Here is the scoop on that effort, started by Amy Countryman, mother, farmer, and student in the IU School of Public and Environmental Affairs. YOU can help us with a simple voting process. Go to the site mentioned here, and click on VOTE at City of Bloomington Parks and Recreation Department. Just repeat once per day until the end of April. (! I know, it sounds like a lot to ask.)

As you can see, there is a lot of enthusiasm and excitement about this project. And, as my friend Jane put it, the voting process is "very testosterone-y!" We are currently in the nail-biting number one position, with one close challenger.
Your Community Orchard Team is in full force and we need your help!
Vote online and play a simple, yet critical, role in winning Bloomington a grant for a FREE FRUIT ORCHARD which will provide free fruit to the entire community.  *We need to vote through April 30th.
Vote for the Bloomington Community Orchard at Communities Take Root EVERYDAY until April 30 (11:59 p.m. PT).  Make it your home page and make it simple for yourself to make a major contribution.

For more information about the Bloomington Community Orchard visit us online at
Facebook. For more information about the free trees and other support this grant will provide for our Orchard, please see the "participant submission" and "application" documents which will soon uploaded to our Facebook page.
In Bloomington, Indiana, our budding community orchard is about the future. It is about leaving a legacy for generations to enjoy. But it is also about right now. It is about finding others who share a vision of abundance and coming together to make one patch of the earth a better place for everyone. The orchard will contribute to Bloomington’s food security, inspire joyful community engagement, and educate citizens while making sustainability delicious. 

The City of Bloomington has offered support and a spacious site adjacent to our largest and oldest community garden, a public park, and the YMCA. The first public meeting for the orchard, held in February at City Hall, was standing room only. Participants are eager to put their expertise, resources, and physical labor into the creation and maintenance of the public orchard. Work groups are establishing the administrative and operational structures needed to allow the orchard to thrive. Bloomington's People's University is offering a low-cost course on orcharding to create a core of educated volunteers to care for the trees. 

To ensure that fruit from the trees will reach those in need, Bloomington Community Orchard is partnering with the Hoosier Hills Food Bank Gleaning Program, which harvests surplus crops on local farms to feed those who are hungry. Strong traditions of community gardening already exist in Bloomington, offering educational opportunities; free, fresh, nutritious food; and beauty for all to enjoy. We are ready for our Community Orchard. All we need now are the trees.

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