Southampton to create a ‘Virtual Orchard’ in new Transition Southampton project

Posted on November 5, 2010 by

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Southampton is set to create a ‘Virtual Orchard’ across the city this Winter with Transition Southampton offering bargain-priced apple trees through the TREEmendous Southampton project.

Apples Galore

TREEmendous Southampton was set up by the local food group in order to give people in Southampton the chance to have fresh, organic fruit in their gardens for as cheap as possible, and also help cut food miles, CO2 emissions and increase biodiversity.  To minimise the costs the apple trees will be bulk-bought at wholesale price, meaning the trees will cost only £7.50 (compared with £30+ at a garden centre).  Even people with small gardens can benefit as the trees are of ‘dwarfing’ varieties, and they could even be grown in a tub on a balcony.

After the trees are planted they will then become part of ‘Virtual Orchard’ – on orchard linked by the internet across the city – which it is hoped will build a network which will in future hold ‘apple community days’ when the fruit is harvested in future.

The project is based on other succesful schemes like it in other cities such as Bristol, where a project over the last few years has planted over 2000 apple trees in gardens across the city.  They also hope to map out existing fruit trees in the city to add them to the virtual orchard, so that no fruit goes to waste, as has been done in Sheffield with the ‘Abundance’ project.

TREEmendous Southampton explains more:

Have you ever wanted an apple tree in your garden but have been put off by the cost?  Would you like to reduce your food miles and improve your garden’s biodiversity?  Would you like to help create a ‘virtual orchard’ across Southampton?  If so then now’s your chance!

TREEmendous Southampton, a sub-group of Transition Southampton, is running a scheme this winter to bulk buy apple trees at wholesale prices on your behalf and pass on the savings.  Planted trees will then become part of a Southampton-wide virtual orchard, forming a network to help share the harvest in later years and organise community apple days.  You’ll have fresh, tasty and organic fruit right on your doorstep for only £7.50 a tree!

The trees are available to buy by cheque and will be available for collection between 12 noon and 3pm on Saturday 26th February 2011 from Ropewalk Community Garden, where there’ll also be some tree-planting and care demonstrations.  You’ll receive one of 4 choices (all chosen to suit Southampton and to be easy to grow, fit in small gardens and even in tubs, easily pollinated with a choice of either eating or cooking varieties) and a leaflet explaining how to look after your tree.

Orders are open until the end of December.

If you’d like to get involved and get a tree visit their website or email them at treemendous@transitionsouthampton.org

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Posted in: News, Southampton