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Public Food Forest/Orchard

 
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My township has some unused land that I think would be great for a public food forest/orchard. Several acres of nothing but grass with a bike trail running through part of it...........I envision a place where the general public can come and pick free fruit/nuts. I know that if I present a plan to the township they are going to want something with zero to low maintenance so I was thinking of incorporating mostly native wild fruits/nuts. Below is a list of possible plants I think might make the cut....
-American Persimmon
-American Plum
-American Elderberry
-Illinois Everbearing Mulberry
-Goumi
-Seaberry
-Chinese Chestnut
-American Hazelnut
-Highbush cranberry
-serviceberry
-Blackberries, currants, and gooseberries
* I would love to add apples, pears, peaches, and cherries to the list but I don't know of any good disease resistant varieties.

The site gets full sun and has very deep neutral pH soils. This is in zone 6 Pennsylvania.
 
pollinator
Posts: 289
Location: Whitefish, Montana
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You might check in with the Boulder, Montana food forest project: http://organiclifeguru.com/the-boulder-forest-garden/

They had a similar small scale municipal project and me be able to offer valuable insight.

Cheers,

Chris
 
Posts: 264
Location: Eastern Canada, Zone 5a
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Sean Banks wrote:
* I would love to add apples, pears, peaches, and cherries to the list but I don't know of any good disease resistant varieties.



Apples - http://www.cumminsnursery.com/disease.htm
Pears - http://www.ars-grin.gov/cor/catalogs/pyrblres.html
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