Brockville residents plan orchard

With a liberty apple tree to be planted in the community orchard planned for a Dunedin City Council reserve in Brockville are (from left) Teagan Stevens (6), Beatrice Hessell (9), Rose Richards, Sue Morey and Maria Hessell (6). Photo by Gerard O'Brien.
With a liberty apple tree to be planted in the community orchard planned for a Dunedin City Council reserve in Brockville are (from left) Teagan Stevens (6), Beatrice Hessell (9), Rose Richards, Sue Morey and Maria Hessell (6). Photo by Gerard O'Brien.

In a few years' time, Brockville residents hope to be enjoying apples and pears from their very own community orchard.

The Brockville Ecological and Sustainability Team has applied to the Dunedin City Council to use part of Frasers Gully Reserve as a community orchard.

The area is a 540sq m empty section between numbers 4 and 6 Turnbull St.

Team spokeswoman Sue Morey said the group had been liaising with the Dunedin City Council about sustainable projects it could get involved in when the orchard idea came up.

The neighbourhood already had a community garden and a food bank and it hoped the orchard would add to the food it could produce for itself.

''We are trying to make our own community more sustainable by growing our own fruit and vegetables.''

Fruit from the trees would go to those in need. If there was a surplus, it would be sold to buy more trees, she said.

The orchard project had been granted resource consent and a licence to occupy part of the reserve was now needed. The application was open for public consultation.

Sutherland Nursery had designed the layout and helped select the types of fruit that would grow on the site, including dwarf trees near neighbouring properties.

If the licence was granted, they hoped to start planting pear, apple, peach and apricot trees by the end of the year, she said.

A family day was planned for planting the orchard and working bees would be held to keep the orchard tidy. A community member was learning how to thin and prune fruit trees.

It was hoped the orchard would be a pilot and other empty spots around the community could be used for edible plants.

- rebecca.fox@odt.co.nz

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