Most of you have no doubt been following the progress of public orchard #2 which will be in the area bordered by the county parking lot across from the ferry dock. Mike Skehan has ramrodded this through. There is an agreement with the County. County crews have already been over to take out some trees and eliminate noxious weeds. Mike is waiting for the ground to soften up a bit to till it up and plant some grass. In October we will plant trees in the same manner we did at the Curry.
This project will, of course, need volunteers on an on-going basis and at tree planting time we hope we can pull a good sized crew together to amend the soil, put up the fences and plant the trees.
As always, the project needs the moola. Mike estimates the dollar cost of the project at about $1600. $600+ has already been raised. We will be looking to buy metal fence posts, fencing, staking posts and trees. If you are in the mood, you could make a donation to the project through LICA with checks delivered to Paul Davis. Likewise, we would love to have you volunteer or help recruit volunteers to be stewards for this orchard.
After planting the trees this fall we need to prune the existing trees on the property to get them back into shape.
This whole orchard project started as a result of some discussion on the transitionlummiisland.com blog. Because the Heritage Trust controls the Curry Preserve, on that project stewards are volunteers of the Heritage Trust.
On orchard #2 (we’ll find a better name someday), stewards will be volunteers of the Lummi Island Community Association as LICA has the contract with the county. All this may be a bit confusing and awkward but the important thing is to develop some local and perpetual food sources. A second and equally important goal is to develop a cadre of folks who know their way around an orchard, who have learned to prune, to properly water and to deal with issues that face fruit trees (disease, pests, etc.)
If we had enough volunteers and a degree of expertise we could expand our portfolio to include helping private landowners plant fruit trees, develop public orchards on private property for find more property in common where orchards could be established to benefit the island.