31 May 2015

What's up with the Orchard?

I lived in Better Waverly about five years ago when the Montpelier Orchard looked like this. It was the brain child of a community member who had high hopes and--what we hoped was--stamina. Well, a few trees were planted eventually, and I moved away to seek my fortune in another part of town.

On the day that we signed the deed and handed over the largest check I've ever seen, the orchard look more like the photo below. It was overgrown, untended, and the gate to this community green space was perpetually locked. After some research I learned that the gung-ho community member who was the steward of the space moved away. And no one stepped in to take his place.

It's hard work to tend a large plot of land, keep it planted, weeded, and mulched. The original organizer must have been quite a visionary.

That said, I've grown literally tired of watching this great "idea" turn into an eyesore. The first person who offered to cut my grass I wrangled into cleaning up the entrance to the "orchard". After going through several feet of cord on his weed whacker, he did a good job. I can't imagine what it will take to get the inside of the "orchard" mowed down and ready for landscaping.

Today, the orchard looks like this… a few neighbors got together to weed, plant, and mulch and it's a fantastic work in progress.

Outside, it's been weeded and planted with food crops and perennials… more progress to come...

Neighbors to the left of us got a huge delivery of mulch and have spent quite a bit of time tenting the fruit trees inside (peaches, and pears, and figs, oh my). We've added some herb lanes, more mulch and a good soaking with water… it's a work in progress and a great community project.