Last weekend, after a couple of weather-related false starts, a group of volunteers completed work on the new community orchard that has been planted in War Memorial Park, right in the centre of Basingstoke. This accomplishment would not have been possible without the work of the dedicated people at Incredible Edible North Hampshire. The orchard is sure to become a source of enjoyment for many people in the community in the years to come.
The trees may have been successfully planted in the ground, but this project doesn’t stop here. Right from the start, this orchard has been planned to act as an educational aid and as an inspiration to as many people as possible.
In the immediate future, the orchard will require regular maintenance, so if you would like to be involved with this going forward be it mulching, watering, pruning, inspecting for pests, disease etc then please get in touch. If you’re thinking of getting fruit trees of your own, this is a great opportunity to learn all about them.
And if what’s been done so far isn’t impressive enough, the next phase of the project could really establish the orchard as an integral component of community life:
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 with 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!
Incredible Edible North Hampshire is a not-for-profit voluntary organisation focused on the local sourcing of food through Community, Learning and Local Business. They 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.