Planting Community Fruit Trees

Although Seattle has a robust network of urban fruit trees, there are many Seattle neighborhoods that experience food apartheid* or lack access to safe greenspaces.  By investing in local urban agriculture through the creation of urban gardens, orchards, and farms, we not only promote physical and mental wellbeing within communities, but also provide an avenue for community empowerment through sustainable agriculture and food justice.

(Image description: two volunteers using shovels to plant a tree in the grass)
(Image description: volunteers planting in a neighborhood greenspace)
(Image description: two volunteers planting a tree; one holding the sapling, and one topping off the planting with soil from a bag)
High Point 

In partnership with Neighborhood House, High Point Open Space Association, and Seattle Housing Authority, City Fruit planted a new orchard at High Point in the spring of 2021!  While we have planted individual trees in pre-existing garden spaces in years past, the orchard at High Point was our first large scale orchard project — bringing 17 fruit trees into the neighborhood!  



City Fruit also secured funding from the National Fish & Wildlife Foundation that supported the planting of a second orchard at High Point in late 2023  Not only will this second orchard increase community access to fresh fruit and provide an additional education space to teach about different growing practices, but it will also build on High Point’s pre-exiting storm water management neighborhood design.  

(Image description: a west-facing view of Troll's Knoll P-Patch)
(Image description: a north-facing view of the Troll's Knoll P-Patch walkway)
(Image description: overgrowth [since removed] at Troll's Knoll P-Patch)
Troll’s Knoll
The summer of 2022, City Fruit was invited by the P-Patch gardeners at Troll’s Knoll Park & Garden to brainstorm the planting of additional fruit trees!  The selected site for the future orchard is a rectangular strip nestled between the alleyway road and the walkway behind the garden shed.  As the strip currently has Himalayan blackberry growing in it, the first step in the orchard prep process is clearing the brush and blackberry using tools such as hand pruners, loppers, hand-saws, and shovels.  Following successful clearing of the brush, future orchard prep steps include sheet mulching, amending & leveling the soil, and finally, planting saplings and mulching around the new trees in the spring of 2023! 
Learn more about Troll’s Knoll P-Patch: In 2015, Fremont welcomed this P-Patch community garden and park space. The Troll’s Knoll P-Patch is situated on the northwest side of the Aurora Avenue Bridge, flanking the west side of the Fremont Troll. Currently, it has 31 garden plots, including three Giving Garden plots for food bank donation.  This garden exists thanks to the 2008 Parks Levy Opportunity Fund and was developed with the support of volunteers, a City of Seattle Department of Neighborhoods Neighborhood Matching Fund grant, Skanska, and Perkins + Will.

*Originally coined by food activist and urban farmer, Karen Washington, ‘food apartheid’ is an alternative to the term ‘food desert.’ The term food desert has long been used to describe neighborhoods (anywhere along the urban-rural spectrum) where people do not have access to fresh, affordable, healthy foods.  However, Karen Washington pushes for use of the term food apartheid in order to highlight how income, race, and geography are factors that influence a person’s ability to access these foods.