Wednesday, March 15, 2017
Expanding Kingsway Community Orchard
4 years ago, Cllr Marilynn Ord, Cllr John McClurey and I arranged for a community orchard to be planted on unused council land next to Kingsway, Sunniside. Gateshead Council's Local Community Fund (LCF) paid for 40 trees which were then planted by children from local schools. A year later, I was offered 6 fruit trees by a nursery if I gave them a free advert on my self-sufficiency blog (www.self-sufficientinsuburbia.blogspot.com). The local police cadets helped to plant them.
Earlier this month I discovered Groundwork had a large number of fruit trees they were selling at bargain prices at the Central Nursery in Lobley Hill. I bought 10 at £3 each, four of which I gave to the Whinnies Community Garden (also in Sunniside), and six of which I planted in one of my allotments. I also negotiated a deal with Groundwork for 100 trees at a total cost of £200. The LCF will cover this.
With John and Marilynn, and officers from Gateshead Council, we are planning a planting event on Tuesday next week with local schools. My job to do in the meantime is to get a spraycan and mark up on the orchard site where each of the 100 trees will be planted. As I'm at Lib Dem conference this weekend, it looks like this will be a job for Friday morning and Sunday evening.
Once the trees are planted, we will still have less than half of the site used. The plan had always been to expand the orchard as and when we could lay our hands on some trees. So in the years ahead, we will continue to grow the project.