Gateway Greening, in St. Louis, Missouri is partnering with The Giving Grove to plant sustainable community orchards in the city. A Giving Grove orchard with an average of fifteen trees is capable of producing over 3,500 pounds of produce each year – the existing pilot program in Kansas City has planted 135 community orchards which are already producing fruit with an expected total production potential of these orchards of over 500,000 pounds per year. It is expected that the St. Louis program is will meet, or exceed these yields in just 5 years.
“Our partnership with Kansas City Community Gardens has made it possible to grow this idea from a seed to an urban landscape with more than two thousand trees starting to bear fruit across our city,” said Rob Reiman, The Giving Grove’s executive director. “We are beyond thrilled to be able to collaborate with Gateway Greening to help bring sustainable orchards to more food insecure communities in the St. Louis area.”
Gateway Greening supports over 200 community gardens and food projects, as well as 70 school gardens, and operates the Gateway Greening Urban Farm in downtown St. Louis. The Giving Grove – which is now in the process of establishing a national organization – trains and supports community leaders to care for urban micro-orchards, using environmentally responsible methods. Trees for the program are carefully chosen, based on climate adaptability, disease resistance, nutritional value, flavor, low maintenance requirements, and storage life.
Executive Director, Matt Schindler stated, “St. Louis is missing this important piece of education and service around fruit and nut trees. By bringing The Giving Grove program to St. Louis, we are bringing Kansas City’s experience to our program, enabling us to meet the needs of various communities with greater organizational knowledge and capacity.”