A small urban orchard at Vilas Park in Madison, WI

Urban orchards: Free, fresh food!

Madison has about eleven small neighborhood urban orchards plus a few at public schools. Where could one go in your neighborhood? All unused pockets of public land are fair game (parkland, water utility land, etc).

Wouldn't it be cool if some day we could also do a large one like Milwaukee County, Atlanta, or Seattle... cities with multi-acre food forests? While the current small orchards have positive outcomes on several levels, a large one would be more visible and have greater impact.

  • I planted my first fruit trees (apple, peach, pear) in the mid-1990's and have learned a lot since. Tree pruning can be intimidating; I'm pretty good at this and have given several workshops, so happy to offer advice!
  • I helped create Madison's first public urban orchard as a memorial to an experienced bicyclist who died from injuries sustained when she was struck by an inattentive driver.
  • Wisconsin Food Forests helps folks plant layered edible landscaping in their yards; I'm hoping to volunteer with them. Want just a couple of fruit trees? Contact Emily Plants.
  • FallingFruit.org boasts an interactive map of fruit for foraging around the world!
  • I was one of several founding members of Madison Fruits and Nuts (somewhat out-of-date Facebook page). This group helped grant Madisonians the power to plant edibles on public lands and here's how you can apply!