I started this blog with the goal of raising awareness of “peak” problems that we might face as a community and a country. In the ensuing two years not much has improved. The situation actually looks much worse in every area with the additional problem of such catastrophes as Fukishima, a world-wide water crisis and the manipulations of the economic fortunes of our country.
The problems seem so vast and overwhelming it’s hard to know where to start. And, to complicate matters, the majority of citizens think everything will work out in the long term. Technology will find a way to keep the cars moving down the road, etc. There is no general impetus to do anything.
This is why the two year long “ferry crisis” has been so instructive. One can see that when the crisis becomes local, people will take an interest and get involved and make changes in how they will manage their lives, often because they are forced to.
So, what’s this have to do with an orchard? Well, it’s hard to measure the impact of a continuing discussion of Transition—that is, how will we manage our lives with less of everything? Less money, less oil, less ferry service, less parking, less food. Food security has been part of the discussion as in—how will Lummi Island feed itself if the supermarkets are no longer able to provide. Gardens have flourished as the idea of making one’s own food as a healthier way to live has seeped into the general consciousness. Another example is the community effort to create a public orchard at the Curry Preserve.
The broader goal of the group who instigated the Curry Orchard is to increase the number of fruit trees on the island which could provide significant amounts of food in years to come. A thirty tree orchard may be symbolic. But a second, third, fourth and fifth orchard plus encouragement of private land owners to add food producing trees to their property could be a start to offering food security to the island.
Now, to the point: Mike Skehan has spearheaded a plan for public orchard number two. This orchard will be located at the County Parking Lot across from the ferry landing in that infield space that was overgrown with weeds and grass. The Lummi Island Community Association (LICA) has adopted this project and has an agreement with the county who will offer some help in removing dead and diseased trees and getting the weeds under control. The area has already been mowed and will soon be tilled. A new path will meander through the area, grass will get planted and this fall approximately twenty-five fruit trees will be planted and fenced. A cadre of volunteers will be needed to maintain the orchard. Each tree will cost about $75 (including fencing, posts, and grass seed). Islanders need to take up the challenge and adopt a tree with a generous donation or memorial gift to the LICA – Orchard Project. Any excess donations will be kept separately to pay for the pathway, benches, and future needs. (Note: the Curry Orchard sponsored by the Heritage Trust has received enough donations to build out the rest of the orchard which will also happen this fall).
Please send your donation to: LICA, PO Box 163, Lummi Is 98262, (Orchard Project)
Questions should be directed to Mike Skehan, Sec. (758-7333) or David Thorn, Pres. LICA
When we are faced with gigantic problems on a macro scale it’s comforting to be able to take some positive action locally that will improve our environment and stand as evidence that we can make changes that will move us forward.