”When I was born on Bond Street in 1935, Oakville was a picturesque little village overlooking Lake Ontario and extending from roughly Brant Street in the West and Gloucester in the East and Queen Elizabeth Highway to the north. Our home overlooked a beautiful cherry orchard bordered by a magnificent perennial garden that was breathtakingly beautiful.” Excerpt from Midge Philbrook
Oakville and Bronte were once home to abundant and prolific orchards. We have heard the names of once vibrant local orchards like Fisher and Triller. Now there are only a few trees that remain as reminders to those days and we depend on imported fruit and nuts more and more.
This project plans to reconnect Halton residents with growing their own food by establishing one or more community fruit and nut orchards within Halton. The orchards would be planted on public/donated land and will be maintained and harvested primarily by volunteers. The harvest will be split between harvesters, donors and food banks.
The first two orchards were planted in Spring 2012!! One is on public property at the Kingsford Gardens site in the Town of Oakville and will be largely used as a demonstration orchard for schools and groups in the area. This is the first community orchard in both the Town of Oakville and Halton Region, and consists of over 25 various fruit trees, from apricot to apple, and over 20 berry bushes. View photos.
The second orchard was planted at the Freedom Centre church on Bronte Road and will be part of their community garden initiative, "Grow Together", and support local food banks. It consists of 20 various fruit trees and over 10 berry bushes. View photos.
In 2013 we worked together with BurlingtonGreen and the City of Burlington to plant five fruit trees at the entrance to the Burlington Central Park Community Garden.
Many thanks to our many volunteers, Chris Mark and his staff at the Town of Oakville Parks and Open Spaces Department, Sean James and his team from Fern Ridge Landscaping and our funders: Ontario Trillium Foundation and the Community Foundation of Oakville.
This model is based on successful community projects across Ontario and abroad including the Ben Nobleman Community Orchard in Toronto
If you are interested in volunteering or dedicating one or more fruit trees as a tribute, please contact.
Melissa Tervit, Project Coordinator
Other interesting links to Community Orchard Projects:
Seattle to Build Nation's First Food Forest - February 21, 2012