‘Healing the land’: Tri-State organization plans to create 100 orchards in the region

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MOUNT HEALTHY, Ohio — For hundreds if not thousands of years, communal spaces to grow food meant camaraderie, comfort and sustainability. Now, an organization here in Greater Cincinnati wants to bring that back.

The Common Orchard Project, part of Green Umbrella, has 30 orchards in our area with plans to build ten a year until they reach 100.

“We’re trying to put it into production for community. So, like a lot of people can eat from a fruit tree, you don’t need many fruits yourself from one tree. So why don’t we plant some fruit trees and get a bunch of people together to enjoy that?” said Chris Smyth, the director of the project.

“Really, we’re trying to reactivate unused or vacant spaces. Maybe a lawn next to a church or a field next to a community garden.”

Smyth said that in five to seven years, they should be producing around 1,000 pounds of food.

“I would say it’s a really high return. But it takes patience. And if we’re investing in our places, like we’re all going to be here in five years, like let’s invest in it, plant fruit trees, and keep showing up each year.”

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