This has been a busy couple of weeks, culminating today with the planting of a new community orchard in our little town of Baie-D’Urfé.
Those of you who knew our garden in England 21+ years ago will remember that we had lots of fruit trees, bees too for a few years – I have missed those trees now we are in Quebec, and especially the relaxing annual work of pruning and training the branches to optimise fruit production. Quite nice eating the fruit too. So it was exciting to have had the opportunity to play a part of the planting of 42 (significant number – think of the white mice) fruit trees in a mini-orchard on land next to the Garden at Fritz where some of us grow vegetables for food banks.
This project started back in the spring when the town received a grant from Trees Canada for fruit trees. Things stalled over the summer but sprang back to life a few weeks ago, culminating in the planting of the orchard in the rain today. I had been invited to work out a planting scheme – that was fun. Everything was down in black and white and Sunday morning I stood there, plan in hand, telling friends where to place the pots containing the trees – unfortunately, a couple of the holes had had to be relocated as when the guys dug the holes they found TV cable wires that nobody knew about. The relocated holes confused me as my neat rows were out of whack but a bit of rapid mental juggling got things more or less in a workable layout once more.
There were speeches from the local politicians of course, but a good lunch was waiting after the ceremonials had been completed. The town’s public works department had dug the holes in previous days and Saturday morning some 50+ people came, children and adults, and put the trees into the ground – this was really nice as the weather was not nice and we would not have been surprised if a lot of potential workers had rolled over for another hour under the covers. This section of the Fritz Park used to be a field that held horses and the soil is remarkably rich if the adjacent vegetable garden is anything to go by.
Still some work to be done on staking and mulching but the trees will be able to start getting their roots out while there is warmth in the soil and then we can look forward to annual displays of blossom each spring … and, who knows, maybe fruit too. The Fritz Garden volunteers will do much of the maintenance of the orchard.
Apples, pears, cherries, apricots, peaches, plums and serviceberries were planted.
Especially fortuitous – this orchard planting took place just one day after the half million person (plus tiny Greta Thunberg) march in Montreal promoting action against climate change. Not many actions are better than planting trees.
So – pictures from the day – can you see yourself in any of them? The four sunny pictures were from Friday morning when a couple of us did some preliminary planting and last minute thinking. Some of these photographs have captions – click on any one to see a gallery with captions attached
Anyone … anyone … who would like to know more about the Garden at Fritz and the Orchard at Fritz and maybe to lend a few hours of their time during the 2020 season is invited to get in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org