Keep Jackson Beautiful, which builds and sustains a clean, green and a more beautiful Jackson launched its first community orchard in Jackson this past weekend to kickoff Earth Month. There were over 100 volunteers that participated in building the orchard.
The orchard is located at 3930 Officer Thomas Catchings Sr. Drive and utilizes permaculture techniques. The community orchard includes 3 swales, 20 fruit trees, 20 blueberry bushes, and 60 herbs (12 varieties), along with 3 nitrogen fixing native trees. This will eventually give local residents apples, peaches, plums, pears, and blueberries.
Keep Jackson Beautiful, Entergy, Rosemont Baptist Church, the Mississippi Urban Forestry Council, the Mississippi Forestry Commission, and the Purple Diamonds Dance group partnered to turn a vacant lot next to Rosemont Baptist Church into a community orchard.
In the future they plan on planting kiwi, pomegranate, huckleberry, hazelnut, chestnut, and satsuma oranges. The community orchard will be maintained by church, community members and volunteers and the harvested produce will be freely available to those who work in the orchard as well as the general public.
This community orchard will be like many that are emerging all over the country but will use permaculture techniques for maintenance. The goal of the orchard is to inspire community cohesion, to increase access to locally produced foods to address health and nutrition deficiencies in food desert communities, and to be a model for other communities to replicate.
Below is a gallery of pictures from the weekend.