On the morning of Friday, February 10, City Fruit staff were joined by CareyThornton, a community educator with Tilth Alliance, to plant a row of berry bushes at High Point’s Pond Park. The park, which sits on a stormwater basin, serves mixed income families from a variety of communities. The berry patch was installed on a section of sloped, mulched land that gets ample sun and water, but until now, did not have any plants.
Though it was a brisk morning and staff arrived bundled in coats, the rare winter sun did come out to help warm us and boost energy levels! Winter is a great time to plant berry bushes and fruit trees because the frequent rain helps dormant plants establish roots before the drier summer season begins. Carey brought some companion plants and demonstrated how best to break up the roots to get the bushes established. After discussing placements for each bush and their accompanying companion plants, the project quickly came together with many hands helping to dig holes and place the plants alongside the park path, intended for easy access by passersby. The project was done and the berry collection was set in just under an hour!
The berries themselves were generously donated to City Fruit by our partner, West Seattle Nursery, and consisted of orange glow sea berry, ollaliberries, marionberry, boysenberry, jostaberry, gooseberry, pink currant, seaberry, and white currant. Alongside them, a variety of companion plants were placed to support soil health and plant growth. Among the berries, you can find yarrow, strawberries, oregano, and chives! To learn more about companion planting, click here.
In 2023, City Fruit is stewarding a multitude of orchard projects around Seattle in efforts to bridge the gap between communities and locally grown food that meets cultural needs, such as our project at Troll’s Knoll and at McAuliffe Park. This berry patch is the start of a larger orchard we are also planting this year that we hope will help provide more access to healthy food for those in the High Point area for years to come.
For further information on our plantings and how to get involved or suggest a future site for plantings, feel free to reach out to Riley at [email protected].