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NHCO Fruit Tree Project’s Harvest Will Benefit Families in Need

North Hills Community Outreach to Plant New Fruit Tree Orchard, Harvest Will Benefit Local Families in Need

North Hills Community Outreach (NHCO) is teaming up with The Fruit Tree Planting Foundation and design experts from Three Sisters Farm to plant approximately 25 fruit trees on May 13 at noon in NHCO’s Rosalinda Sauro Sirianni Garden in Bellevue.

The new orchard will provide organic fruit ranging from apples to peaches to more than 400 families, who utilize NHCO’s two food pantries in Bellevue and Hampton monthly.

It is made possible by an Orchard Grant from The Fruit Tree Planting Foundation worth nearly $5,000.

With the addition of fruit, NHCO will be able to diversify the produce offered at their pantries and ensure consistent food production in the future. Last year, the garden grew more than 2,000 pounds of organic produce.

The orchard project also will serve as a local model for the type of permaculture design and planting possible in western Pennsylvania. Permaculture mimics natural ecosystems and employs plantings such as berries, vines and perennial with trees to complement each tree’s natural growth.

The planting and orchard will be one of the first local projects for the Pittsburgh-based foundation that is dedicated to planting edible, fruitful trees and plants to benefit both people and the environment. The foundation has completed planting projects across the nation and around the globe.

The foundation’s Executive Director Cem Akin has spearheaded NHCO’s orchard and local permaculture design experts Darrell Frey and Liz Lynch from Three Sisters Farm in Sandy Lake designed the garden and surrounding permaculture gardens.

NHCO’s garden was established in 2010 and sits on nearly 1 acre. The garden receives funding from an Allegheny Grows grant. Allegheny Grows is an Allegheny County Economic Development program that partners with Grow Pittsburgh and the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy.

For more information on the foundation, visit http://www.ftpf.org.

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