A big "THANK YOU" to all the volunteers who helped complete the planting of the trees in the Community Orchard in the War Memorial Park through last week and finishing with the big push on Saturday which saw the last 23 trees planted making 49 in all.
More pictures here: http://ienorthhampshire.zapto.
The weather was finally kind enough after two false starts with the torrential rain at the first attempt and the freezing cold winds at the second. Roughly 50 people came forward with their help and support - which was great!
We have a little tidying up to do and need to get some more compost to site and around the trees.
Colin is kindly drawing up the maintenance schedule, so if you would like to be involved with this going forward be it mulching, watering, pruning, inspecting for pests, disease etc please let us know. It is a Community Orchard and as such is for everyone to enjoy.
Some next steps if you are interested:
1) Incredible Edible North Hampshire is a not-for-profit voluntary organisation focused on the local sourcing of food through Community, Learning and Local Business. We hold meetings once a month, the next meeting is on Tuesday 16th April at The Community House, 32 Branton Close, South Ham, Basingstoke RG22 6UN if you would like to come along and celebrate the planting of the Community Orchard. Our thanks to Sovereign Kingfisher for letting us use the Community House.
2) To-date we have been focusing on the Community thread and would like to now use the Orchard to get the Learning thread going. The first stage will be to raise the funds needed to get the signage and information boards in place at the Community Orchard. We plan to include QR codes which can be read by smartphones both on the notice boards and on each tree which can be linked back to websites with lots more information.
With growing, cooking and nutrition going back onto the national curriculum these QR codes will open up opportunities for schools to conduct projects which can be designed to support the national curriculum. For example subject areas which could be covered include: IT - web design; Soil Science, Genetics explaining the diversity of trees, Horticulture - planting and maintaining trees; harvesting: preserving and processing fruit; cookery, nutrition.
So if you know of any organisations that might be willing to provide funds towards to information boards or schools which might be interested in running projects linked to the Community Orchard please put us in touch with the appropriate people!
Thank you once again for your help and support,
Incredible Edible North Hampshire