City Fruit Seattle
City Fruit arrived on my radar about 3 years ago at a Sustainable Ballard meeting. The Coalition actually started to organize earlier in 2008. It seemed like a logical idea to redirect what is often waste to some people to those who can use it. What a great way to increase are local supply stream for food while removing what is sometimes a nuisance to others.
Unfortunately during my dealings with SDOT this year I learned it is against city code to plant fruit trees in parking strips. This is often a logical place where a tree might have extra room to grow, while having ample room for a root zone and drip line. The reason the city doesn’t want these trees in parking strips is they are afraid they will attract the urban wildlife and people might slip on the dropped fruit. Let’s hope some of the over-protective policies of the past are updated to a more modern and holistic mindset. Truth of the matter is fruit trees have been one of the first things planted for any homesteader, they are here to stay. People have survived just fine with them in their backyards, let’s allow them back on the street! It seems the trees grandfathered in are doing just fine.
Conservation: Preserve fruit trees on public and private properties; document historical orchards.
Preservation of the urban tree canopy: Increase fruit trees planted on public and private properties; map fruit trees.
Stewardship: Improve the care of fruit trees and reduce the impact of fruit pests and diseases using non-toxic methods.
Harvest: Increase the amount of fruit harvested by supporting harvesting groups, developing the capacity of neighborhoods to harvest, and promoting harvesting by tree owners.
Using and sharing fruit: Develop the capacity of people and groups to preserve fruit; explore the income-generating potential of urban fruit; effectively link those who have fruit with those who need it.
Community building: Build and strengthen connections within community groups through the planting, stewardship, harvest and/or preservation of fruit.
City Fruit is a great resource to learn about the lost art of canning and a surprisingly common sense approach. Our urban orchards shouldn’t be forgotten but treasured for how wonderful they really are.
So be like the steward above and get involved in this great idea. Galettes, pies, preserves, cobblers, crumbles, apple sauces and freezer jam don’t need to be a thing of your childhood or your past. Celebrate the urban orchards!