In the Fall of 2010 we started an Orchard in Hanover County. Our long term plan is to have a variety of fruit trees, nut trees, fruit vines, and fruit bushes as well as bees to pollinate the plants. This will allow us to have a potential source of future income as well as a way to bring fresh fruit into our neighborhood in Richmond.

This Spring we are planting more trees and bushes in the Wingnut Orchard. We are adding blueberry bushes, huckleberries, apple trees, grape vines, kiwi vines, fig trees, mulberry trees, persimmon and more! If you would like to help with the Orchard please get in touch. Starting next week we will be getting plants, planting wildflowers, hopefully getting some bees etc. Let us know if you want to tag along and we can learn together. Or if you have some awesome skills or knowledge you would want to share that would be great too!

Why an Orchard?

Some folks might wonder why we are planting an orchard. We are an urban collective. We really like being in an urban environment- it keeps us visible, involved, accessible, etc. We don’t want to escape society, we want to play part in changing it. But we also recognize that the lack of space within an urban environment limits our ability to produce many things and engage in many projects that might help us create a more self-sustaining collective. Rural environments a great for being able to grow and make many different things. We don’t have the people power for farming in Hanover. But starting an orchard now means that in 5 to 10 years, as our collective grows so will the usefulness of our orchard.

We hope to not have to work full time for other people at some point. We want to be able to sell fresh produce a local markets, canned jellies and sauces, baked goods and more. Creating a collective source of income seems like a good idea to increase the functionality of the Wingnut Anarchist Collective. We are also interested in the possibility of bartering with other collectives and radical/anarchist groups in the region. Apples for Tofu? That would be great! We know of tofu makers, coffee roasters, hammock makers, farmers, and more but not collective orchards- hopefully that means there is a need to add fruits and nuts to the barter market.

We will also be able to bring fresh produce into our neighborhood of Southern Barton Heights, which would be a really great thing to do. Currently there aren’t jobs or places to get healthy food in the neighborhood. Using excess from an orchard to help feed our neighbors, for Food Not Bombs, and more would be super awesome.

Hopefully we can update over the coming weeks with pictures of our orchard as more trees are planted and plants begin to bud!


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