Orchard Project Flies the Nest

Often said by Elbow’s front man Guy Garvey ‘one day like this a year will see me right’. The sun is out the birds are singing and I have just been sat in Chapter arts centre with Jenny Howell from Riverside Community Market Association (RCMA) to talk about one of their projects which has grown ready to fly the nest. The first Orchard Cardiff project was undertaken two years ago, inspired by various abundance projects around the country. Together the RCMA, the Federation of City Farms and Community Gardens (FCFCG) and Cardiff Transition (all organisations with projects registered with Environment Wales) decided to try to map Cardiff’s fruiting trees which could be accessed by and for the community. The Cardiff Echo picked up on the project helping to promote the project. A community fruit pick and press day was organised to encourage people to make use of the abundant and free harvest of fruit. Leading on from the success two years ago a second community day was organised with equally rewarding results. The project idea has been a huge success with lots of input from other organisations, and the simple and inspiring idea has runaway with itself. Unfortunately no one from the original partnership had time to commit to the project so its potential was not being realised. Keen to carry it forwards Jenny Howell, who had been an integral part of the project as the Riverside community Allotment project officer and also a recent winner of Cynnal Cymru’s Green Hero Awards, decided to concentrate full time on developing Orchard Cardiff. At this stage Orchard Cardiff is still only a project, though as a priority the group is now looking into constituting. They have loads of ideas to make the project as successful as the allotment project and are already thinking of alternative ways to finance the group such as apple juice, fruit jams and crisps. Luckily the local community food growing movement is quite vibrant around Cardiff and the group are well positioned to make the project a success. The group intends to register with Environment Wales to access funding and have asked their development officer for his support to get the group up and running and fit for purpose

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