Urban Orchards

After living in the Manchester’s city centre for a couple of months you start to notice that something is amiss. In the back of your mind, there is something that itches away relentlessly. No matter how hard you try, you just can’t put your finger on it…until…

There aren’t any parks!

Ok. That’s not strictly true. According to MEN, there are various green spaces to which you can slink away to “eat your lunch or take a break from a hard day’s shopping”, but anyone who lives in the centre knows that these rarely measure more than 3ft across and are normally surrounded by busy roads. Should anyone find a viable park in the city centre, please do let me know.

Various cities have tried to combat the slow decline into a concrete jungle, perhaps most notably Singapore with its garden city drive since the 60s. LA has tried similar approach with its Million Trees initiative which aims to clear some of the pollution as well as providing some shade for residents.

One great programme that has caught my attention recently is the Fruit Tree Tour through California. The poor quality of the diets of children worldwide has been a prominent source of controversy recently with government reports and a media frenzy attributing behavioural problems to deficiencies in diversity of food consumed. Apparently, only 11% of Californian children are getting their recommended daily allowance of fresh fruit and vegetables. The Fruit Tree Tour aims to tackle both this statistic and lack of greenery in cities by planting fruit trees. These urban orchards will provide fruit for local people as well as focussing communities on self sufficiency, ecology and various other noble (trendy?) causes. I think its an absolutely brilliant idea, though I’m not sure I’m totally in tune with the ‘Mother Earth’ songs they seem to be teaching all of the kids… Check out their promotional video:


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