Fruit for all in the new Garden of Eden

First published in News by , Chief reporter

A new community orchard will produce 20 tonnes of free fruit for green fingered volunteers.

The first trees will be planted at the site at the top of Brighton’s Race Hill on Saturday to provide fresh local food for city residents.

Volunteers will start by planting 30 fruit trees this year with more trees to follow in the future.

The three-acre site between Swanborough Drive and Wilson Avenue is expected to be able to generate up to 20 tonnes of fruit over the next 20 years.

The first crops are expected to be ready to harvest within two to three years. 

The project has been set up by the Brighton & Hove Food Partnership and Brighton Permaculture Trust , who have s t u d i e d the site and c o n s u l t e d local residents and gardeners on their plans.

Helen Starr-Keddle, a development officer for Brighton and Hove Food Partnership, said: “It’s great that residents will be able to eat more local produce that is both healthy to eat and sustainably grown.

“The idea is that the orchard will be managed by a group of local people for the benefit of the community.”

Bryn Thomas from Brighton Permaculture Trust said “We will mostly plant apples as these are the most reliable croppers, but some plums, pears and more unusual fruit may be included.

“Fruit will be selected that grows well under organic conditions, with fruit ripening from July through November. Some eaters, some cookers and a variety of flavours will also be selected.”

Neil Smith, a local resident and supporter of the project, said: “I think it will give this piece of land a new lease of life. It will combine fruit growing, still be open for dog walkers and anyone who enjoys being in the green and hopefully add a bit more care to these already lovely surroundings.”

Anyone interested in getting involved or helping with the planting should go to the site between 10.30am and 2.30pm on Saturday, call Helen Starr-Keddle on 07850 002596 or email Helen@bhfood.org.uk.

Comments (11)

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5:18pm Thu 17 Jan 13

PETE OF QUEENS PARK says...

Should help feed the pikies parked right by it
Should help feed the pikies parked right by it PETE OF QUEENS PARK
  • Score: 0

5:19pm Thu 17 Jan 13

NickBrt says...

What if travellers want that site? They must have first call.
What if travellers want that site? They must have first call. NickBrt
  • Score: 0

7:20pm Thu 17 Jan 13

JumboJimbo says...

this whole project is nothing more than a publicity stunt that makes it look like the food partnership are actually doing something for their £500,000 a year from the Council.

In reality, if any fruit is actually produced by these trees it will quickly be picked and sold at markets by anyone with a van..

It also seems like a stange decision seeing this is derelict allotment land.. there is a huge demand for allotments in Brighton so why wasnt this land put back into use as allotments?
this whole project is nothing more than a publicity stunt that makes it look like the food partnership are actually doing something for their £500,000 a year from the Council. In reality, if any fruit is actually produced by these trees it will quickly be picked and sold at markets by anyone with a van.. It also seems like a stange decision seeing this is derelict allotment land.. there is a huge demand for allotments in Brighton so why wasnt this land put back into use as allotments? JumboJimbo
  • Score: 0

8:06pm Thu 17 Jan 13

Vigilia says...

Should make good kindling for the vagrant squatters encamped nearby in the way they destroyed the Cubs' & Brownies' Jubilee plantings off the Ditchling Road & ravaged Great Wood in Stanmer Park.
Should make good kindling for the vagrant squatters encamped nearby in the way they destroyed the Cubs' & Brownies' Jubilee plantings off the Ditchling Road & ravaged Great Wood in Stanmer Park. Vigilia
  • Score: 0

8:18pm Thu 17 Jan 13

Sussex jim says...

All apples produced should be made into cider to be distributed amongst council tax payers.Cheers!
All apples produced should be made into cider to be distributed amongst council tax payers.Cheers! Sussex jim
  • Score: 0

12:05am Fri 18 Jan 13

fredflintstone1 says...

JumboJimbo wrote:
this whole project is nothing more than a publicity stunt that makes it look like the food partnership are actually doing something for their £500,000 a year from the Council.

In reality, if any fruit is actually produced by these trees it will quickly be picked and sold at markets by anyone with a van..

It also seems like a stange decision seeing this is derelict allotment land.. there is a huge demand for allotments in Brighton so why wasnt this land put back into use as allotments?
Yes, the food partnership really does seem to have a detailed grasp on things.This from its website:

"What should I do with my compost once it's made?
You can spread it on the earth and lightly mix it before you start growing vegetables..."

The usual load of patronising, green eco-drivel, cheered on by those who have recently settled in the city from London, and paid for by cutting meaningful services to local residents.
[quote][p][bold]JumboJimbo[/bold] wrote: this whole project is nothing more than a publicity stunt that makes it look like the food partnership are actually doing something for their £500,000 a year from the Council. In reality, if any fruit is actually produced by these trees it will quickly be picked and sold at markets by anyone with a van.. It also seems like a stange decision seeing this is derelict allotment land.. there is a huge demand for allotments in Brighton so why wasnt this land put back into use as allotments?[/p][/quote]Yes, the food partnership really does seem to have a detailed grasp on things.This from its website: "What should I do with my compost once it's made? You can spread it on the earth and lightly mix it before you start growing vegetables..." The usual load of patronising, green eco-drivel, cheered on by those who have recently settled in the city from London, and paid for by cutting meaningful services to local residents. fredflintstone1
  • Score: 0

10:12am Fri 18 Jan 13

Valerie Paynter says...

Glad to see the comments that question the Food Partnership. Kudos.

This strikes me as being a prime candidate for the upcoming budget chop-offs list. But it will be kept for its PR value (supposed).

That orchard could just as easily have been put there by the council's Parks and Gardens teams or bought and planted by Parks and Gardens on behalf of residents groups within the Council Housing sector who might have successfully bid for the money to pay for it under the Estate Development Budget scheme - the annual big money bit.

Actually, why DOESN'T BHCC plant fruit trees all over the shop? They already maintain plantings in all the parks. Put fruit trees in too!

And dump that silly Food Partnership.
Glad to see the comments that question the Food Partnership. Kudos. This strikes me as being a prime candidate for the upcoming budget chop-offs list. But it will be kept for its PR value (supposed). That orchard could just as easily have been put there by the council's Parks and Gardens teams or bought and planted by Parks and Gardens on behalf of residents groups within the Council Housing sector who might have successfully bid for the money to pay for it under the Estate Development Budget scheme - the annual big money bit. Actually, why DOESN'T BHCC plant fruit trees all over the shop? They already maintain plantings in all the parks. Put fruit trees in too! And dump that silly Food Partnership. Valerie Paynter
  • Score: 0

10:19am Fri 18 Jan 13

upsidedowntuctuc says...

Maybe they could bury a few Greens instead of growing some veg??
How about a Kitkat tree????
Maybe they could bury a few Greens instead of growing some veg?? How about a Kitkat tree???? upsidedowntuctuc
  • Score: 0

1:41pm Fri 18 Jan 13

Kawasaki998 says...

I agree with Valerie The allotment service is very short of monies why cant the service have it instead of wasting it by the Food Partnership. I am against the orchard we have apple and plum trees there already and some years we dont get a look in as people with vans pick huge amounts and sell on. If allotments had this money we could open more allotments and get the waiting list down as there are 2000 people waiting for a plot. Instead the Council are cutting the size of the plots so it looks like they are doing some thing but they are not.
I agree with Valerie The allotment service is very short of monies why cant the service have it instead of wasting it by the Food Partnership. I am against the orchard we have apple and plum trees there already and some years we dont get a look in as people with vans pick huge amounts and sell on. If allotments had this money we could open more allotments and get the waiting list down as there are 2000 people waiting for a plot. Instead the Council are cutting the size of the plots so it looks like they are doing some thing but they are not. Kawasaki998
  • Score: 0

4:33pm Sat 19 Jan 13

John Steed says...

any chance of a few cherry trees, they look nice in bloom and then the fruit can be turned into a nice alcoholic drink (Vişinată) very simple to make, and very moorish to drink
any chance of a few cherry trees, they look nice in bloom and then the fruit can be turned into a nice alcoholic drink (Vişinată) very simple to make, and very moorish to drink John Steed
  • Score: 0

6:05pm Wed 30 Jan 13

Regenastic says...

First of all, those allotments have been underutilised for years and that's why they were abandoned. Some allotment sites are popular, others are not! I know that the council are trying to get new allotment sites up and running but, what with nature conservation and the pressure for new housing being built, that is not an easy thing.

I also think that growing food locally is crucial to our future and I very much welcome any projects trying to do so (80% of our fruit comes from abroad!).
I know the Food Partnership (FP) have helped support and start many many projects growing and celebrating 'real' food including at my child's school (that was very much appreciated by the community) and I think that kind of work is fantastic and worth every penny.

Yes, telling someone what to do with there compost might seem patronising to someone who knows what they are doing but I think you'll find that the main aim of the FP is to get new people growing and composting. I think they have also done this by getting various community composting schemes started, and anything that reduces what we send to be burnt at Newhaven must be celebrated. No?

I agree that we should have fruit (and maybe nuts too!?) planted in all the parks and that is what BHCC seem to be doing by getting contractors (FP) to do it. That is how most services are delivered now a days.

I think this is very exciting and I look forward to eating an apple, followed by some crumble, with some cider, in the future (with the travellers).
First of all, those allotments have been underutilised for years and that's why they were abandoned. Some allotment sites are popular, others are not! I know that the council are trying to get new allotment sites up and running but, what with nature conservation and the pressure for new housing being built, that is not an easy thing. I also think that growing food locally is crucial to our future and I very much welcome any projects trying to do so (80% of our fruit comes from abroad!). I know the Food Partnership (FP) have helped support and start many many projects growing and celebrating 'real' food including at my child's school (that was very much appreciated by the community) and I think that kind of work is fantastic and worth every penny. Yes, telling someone what to do with there compost might seem patronising to someone who knows what they are doing but I think you'll find that the main aim of the FP is to get new people growing and composting. I think they have also done this by getting various community composting schemes started, and anything that reduces what we send to be burnt at Newhaven must be celebrated. No? I agree that we should have fruit (and maybe nuts too!?) planted in all the parks and that is what BHCC seem to be doing by getting contractors (FP) to do it. That is how most services are delivered now a days. I think this is very exciting and I look forward to eating an apple, followed by some crumble, with some cider, in the future (with the travellers). Regenastic
  • Score: 0

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