One of the things I’ve never understood is why a City Council, Township or developer for that matter, would install decorative landscaping vs edible landscaping. Why do we need rows of Crape Myrtle’s when we could have fruit or nut trees? It looks like Tampa City Council is starting to feel this way too. The City of Tampa agreed to let 60-90 volunteers plant fruit trees in three city parks, calling them a “community orchard.”
The project was led by Tanja Vidovic who likes to think of the trees as “public food for public health.” She enlisted the help of the following local businesses; Worms Way, Evos, Tampa Bay Organics, Downtown Tampa Partnership, University of Florida, Keep It Green Nursery, Mothers Organics, Busch Gardens, Neem Tree Farms, Rare Fruits Council, Whitwam Organics and GLG Art Engraving.
The trees will be cared for by volunteers and if all goes well, they will be able to plant trees in other parks. In this TBO.com article, Tanja Vidovic says “Cities all over the world are doing this, so why not us?,” She is hoping the concept will take off in Hillsborough County schools, so students can become more connected with where food comes from. Community orchards, she said, also provide habitat for wildlife and are considered carbon sinks, or a place that can absorb polluting carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
Are there public fruit trees in your neighborhood? Search FallingFruit.org to see!
Would you like to have more edible landscaping in your city? Let us know in the comments below.
Learn more about the author Lisa Custer at Google+