An Apple Mystery Solved

Volunteers at Stewardship August 2015 with windfall apples

Audrey, Sherry, Marilyn and Joan pose with the “windfall” apples from Ben Nobleman Park Community Orchard in August 2015. Each year the 10+ volunteers of the Ben Nobleman Park Community Orchard collectively spend over 100 hours a year caring for our trees and pollinator garden. This year we hit our 100th hour on August 8, 2015.

This week six volunteers gathered in Ben Nobleman Park to water our very thirsty fruit trees and weed the pollinator garden. At the same time, we also solved a mystery.

You see, our young apple trees have been in the ground for five years now, and they have been producing fruit for three years. And yet, we have not yet ever been able to taste any of the apples on our trees. Why? Continue reading

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Who is allowed to harvest and eat the fruit in Ben Nobleman Park’s Orchard?

No pick sign c:u

It’s a question that has become more and more important for the volunteers of the Ben Nobleman Park Community Orchard: Who is allowed to harvest and eat the apples, cherries, plums and apricots from our fruit trees?

We have had some challenges over the past few years. In 2013 our three cherry trees were bearing well and we were just about to organize a harvest day when, overnight, all the cherries from all three trees vanished in the night.

There was no mess. No pits on the ground. But there were also absolutely no cherries. We later discovered that a witness had seen a park visitor come to the park with some shopping bags. She harvested all three trees and walked away with two bags full of ripe, sweet cherries.

All this before the volunteers who care for these trees and the pollinator garden even had an opportunity to taste the fruit.

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Orchard Shed Reno thanks to G&Z Volunteers

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These days home and garden shows are very popular – especially when a messy, disorganized and dirty house is magically transformed into a clean and fabulous show home. Well, now the volunteers of the Ben Nobleman Park Community Orchard in Toronto will know what that feels like first hand. That’s because two of our volunteers are contractors who paint and renovate local homes and they volunteered to help us organize our shed by drilling hooks and tool holders into the heavy concrete walls. Continue reading

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