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New community orchard being developed adjacent to I-5

What do you think? Comments Off January 18, 2011 at 6:30AM

A team of 16 Green Lake households is developing a community orchard on a strip of public land.

The 12,000 square foot property, newly named the Freeway Estates Community Orchard, is managed by SDOT.  It is located on the west side of I-5, near NE 60th St.


The FreewayEstates Community Orchard, before work began. Photo courtesy Ruth Callard

In the fall of 2010, SDOT granted permission to the Green Lake group to use the land to grow food.

They group has cleared the sidewalk and has reduced the English Ivy and Himalayan blackberries at the site.  Two chestnut trees have been planted, and plans are in the works to add six apple trees, a pear tree, and berry bushes.  In the future, the group hopes to create bird and bee habitats, walkways, and relaxation areas.  There is also the possibility of adding a P-Patch.


A chestnut tree at FreewayEstates Community Orchard. Photo courtesy Ruth Callard

Ruth Callard, co-coordinator of the orchard, told me that the neighbors who are working on the project have become better acquainted.  ”We hope to decrease crime,” she said, “by increasing activity in the area and connections among neighbors.”

All are welcome to join in and lend a hand at the FreewayEstates Community Orchard.  In particular, people with the following skills are needed:

computer and web
grant writing
manual labor
writing, editing
liaison with governmental and outside organizations
permaculture, pruning, pest control, organic gardening
spraying equipment for compost tea and other pest reducing sprays
design ideas for inclusion of children
bee keeping
lighting systems and solar panels
fiscal sponsorship

You can learn more about the project by joining the orchard’s Google group.

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