Kilkenny’s 400 Fruit Tree project will mark the 400th Anniversary of the Signing of the City Charter by planting 400 native and heritage varieties of Apple, Pear, Plum and Cherry throughout the city and environs during 2009.
This Transition Town initiative is a collaboration between Future Proof Kilkenny, Keep Kilkenny Beautiful, Irish Seed Savers, Kilkenny Local Authority with input from Lavistown house, the Camphill community and Rothe House.
This movie from Glass Eye Productions gives a great introduction to this community project
Aims and objectives
In addition to providing a lasting memory of the civic celebrations some of the many benefits of the project include:
- Honouring Kilkenny’s long history as a famous apple growing region in times past.
- Families and communities working together on a practical project that will be a source of pleasure and nutrition in years to come.
- Promoting the use of the urban environment as productive spaces for the growing of food.
- Providing food and shelter for wildlife, encouraging bio-diversity and enhancing the beauty of the natural environment.
- Encouraging the use of local seasonal food for local consumption to reduce food miles, packaging and waste.
- Reconnecting adults and children with the sources of their food and educating ourselves on what can be grown in our local environment.
- Highlighting the issue of future food security and the need to become more self-reliant and less dependant on imports.
- Helping to rebuild a local food economy and inspire innovation and entrepreneur-ship in artisan food production.
- Raising awareness of the need to keep carbon dioxide levels below 400ppm and the role that trees can play in tackling climate change.
Planting the Orchards
The fruit trees will be divided into 40 “orchards” of 10 trees that will be planted in school yards, church grounds, residential estates, parks and green spaces and civic and corporate grounds. The project will be formally launched on the 6th of March to coincide with National Tree week with plantings at a small number of pre-selected sites. Over the course of the year submissions will be invited from community groups, residential committees, schools, churches and other organisations. These will be considered under site suitability, public access, risk of vandalism, commitment towards maintenance of the orchard and commitment towards harvesting and using the produce. Application forms will be available in due course. A training day will be held in early Autumn at Rothe House gardens to cover site selection, planting, aftercare, pruning etc. The orchards will then be planted as a cross-community project in late Autumn.
There are a number of ways in which individuals, organisations and businesses can support the project and become involved:-
Sponsor an orchard
By sponsoring an orchard you are helping to beautify the city, investing in the future and providing a lasting legacy of the 400 year celebrations. A plaque will be erected at each site to acknowledge your contribution.
Fruit tree gift cards
Gift cards will be available to sponsor individual fruit trees. The orchard in which the tree has been planted will be identified at the end of the year. The gift cards will be available throughout the year and are intended to be given as presents or kept as souvenirs.
Make a donation or supply materials
Stakes, tree ties, manure, signage and printing are just some of the other costs relating to the project. All contributions, both in kind and monetary will be welcome.
Volunteering for tree planting
Ultimately this project is about building communities. We will need lots of volunteers on the day of the planting and look forward to a celebratory event and lasting reminder of our 400th year anniversary.
Keep Kilkenny Beautiful