Just a handful of years from now, fruit trees planted at the Arvada Community Garden on June 22 will be ready for harvesting.
After receiving a grant from the Fruit Tree Planting Foundation — a Pittsburgh-based charity dedicated to planting fruit trees all over the world — the garden hosted an arborist from the foundation, James Kaechele, to oversee the planting of 10 fruit trees and 10 fruit shrubs at the community garden on W. 57th Avenue.
“I think this will bring more gardeners,” said gardener Frank Yost, who volunteered to plant at the event. “They’re going to see nectarine trees and they’re going to see peach trees and they’re going to want to help be part of that.”
More than a dozen volunteers attended the event, where Kaechele demonstrated the tree-planting process before gardeners planted the trees throughout the garden. The types of trees planted include apple, cherry, nectarine and plum trees, some of which will be ready three years from now and some as early as two years from now, Kaechele said.
The community garden initially applied for the grant about a decade ago, with the foundation hoping to award a grant to the Arvada garden if and when continued efforts showed the garden would be here to stay, Kaechele said.
2020 seemed to be the perfect year to put the plan into action, with the foundation already scheduling a visit to Denver this summer, he said. Through a partnership with vitafusion, a vitamin company, the foundation selects four cities each year to plant new orchards in. This year, it selected Denver, Los Angeles, Philadelphia and Washington, DC.
Counting the trees planted in Arvada, the foundation planted a total of 135 trees in Denver during its visit, Kaechele said.
As the Arvada planting got underway, many volunteers tried their hand at fruit-tree-planting for the first time, having come to the event for a variety of reasons.
“I’m a huge supporter of small nonprofits and I love the foundation’s enthusiasm,” said gardener Jillian Millard, who started with the Arvada Community Garden this year.
She added that she supports the fruit tree planting idea, particularly as it relates to the broader community: “The garden donates produce to the food bank and this will be a great addition to that,” she said.
The fruit produced by the trees will go to the gardeners, Arvada’s Community Table, the Arvada Veggie Van and be used in some of the garden’s events, including its fruit pressing event and annual garden open house, according to information from Arvada Community Garden.
“It’s something the community will share,” said Arvada gardener Hannah Cochran, who also started gardening at the community garden this year. “It’s really fun we’ll be able to give back in that way.”
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