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.
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 in August of 2022 that will support the development of a second orchard at High Point for spring of 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. We welcome community input about this project in February, 2023 once orchard planning has begun.
We are currently seeking additional sites and collaborations to bring more fruit trees into public spaces for community use. Please contact [email protected] if you have a site you would like to see developed into an orchard.
*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.