City Orchard: a Bread for the City project!

We’re no longer only providing fresh produce to DC’s neediest residents;
now, we’re growing it, too!

City Orchard is our brand new 2.75 acre organic fruit orchard in nearby Beltsville, MD. This orchard contains more than 2,500 trees and bushes, including apple, Asian pear, persimmon, blueberry and blackberry. By the time they mature (in 2014), these plants will yield upwards of 45,000 lbs. of fresh fruit — all of which will be distributed to DC residents in need through Bread for the City’s two food pantry locations.

Beyond growing fruit for our food pantry, we’re using City Orchard as an educational resource for our clients — many of whom have never left DC’s city limits before. We show them how they too can grow their own produce, even if it’s simply in a pot on a windowsill. We enjoy inviting clients to pick a ripe apple right off the limb and experience firsthand the importance of — and joy of — fresh food in a healthy diet.

We need your help to keep City Orchard going! It costs us $35 maintain one tree each year. Sponsor a tree today!

See more pictures here, videos here, and join the conversation on Facebook!

This project could not have been accomplished without the support of our project partners.

Casey Trees helped plan City Orchard and provided the technical expertise. The District of Columbia’s (UDC) College of Agriculture, Urban Sustainability and Environmental Sciences (CAUSES) generously provided the land. Purple Mountain Organics is providing the weekly maintenance. And, of course, community members like you provided the labor in getting these trees into the ground. We cannot wait until our first harvest!

Get Involved

We need volunteers to tend several varieties of crops, including strawberries, blackberries, apples and Asian pears. Currently, we are in great need of volunteers to help with weeding and mulching projects. Please contact volunteer@breadforthecity.org to learn more and sign up.

For our rooftop gardens, we still need volunteers to lead workshops, plan events in the space, and donate goods like organic potting soil, hanging pots for growing herbs on our walls, or large, free-standing pots for berry bushes and tomatoes, vegetable seeds or flowers (for our bees!).

For more information, please contact volunteer@breadforthecity.org.