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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Nutrient-Rich Mulch for Ben Nobleman’s Trees

Audrey, a volunteer, mulching an apple tree with straw in Ben Nobleman Park Community Orchard in Toronto

It’s spring. Our fruit trees are growing. And while we humans need a hearty breakfast to help fuel us for the day, fruit trees also need a good meal at the start of their growing season. That’s because, after emerging from dormancy, they are preparing for an action-filled time in which they will grow leaves, blossoms and branches and produce a harvest for us to enjoy. We can help them along by amending their soil with nutrient-rich mulch.

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