Tag Archives: orchard

Pick of the week – OFRE’s micro orchard!

Operation Fruit Rescue Edmonton (OFRE – pronounced “offer’) is celebrating its 5th year as an organization. From its humble beginnings in 2009, OFRE has become a widely respected organization within the city and throughout Canada. In celebration of 5 years of rescuing fruit OFRE is creating a micro Orchard in Edmonton!

2014-07-04-Orchard Rendering with text (1)

(Click here for full size image)

With grant funding from the City of Edmonton, OFRE’s proposal for transforming a section of the McCauley School grounds is reaching fruition. Since 2012, OFRE has been planning and organizing this ground-breaking project in Edmonton. The area specifically located on 107A Avenue between 95th and 96th Street is to be transformed into a micro Orchard – a fruit bearing oasis!

The micro Orchard will include plantings to showcase the types and varieties of fruit trees, shrubs, and bushes that can grow in the Edmonton Capital region. Fruit varieties to be planted include: apples, pears, cherries, Saskatoons, raspberries and more!

As a green addition to McCauley, the micro Orchard will be used by OFRE to host educational workshops. People will be able to learn how to press apple cider, and care for their fruit bearing trees and bushes. We intend to educating the citizens of Edmonton, through the installation of the micro Orchard, and will empower people with the skills needed to grow, harvest, and preserve locally grown fruit in their own backyards.

OFRE’s micro Orchard is scheduled to break ground September 6th, 2014, with the help of Edmonton Permaculture Guild. It will take several weeks to complete with countless volunteer hours.

WHEN? September 6th & 7th

  • Ground breaking,
  • Dig pathways and level
  • Removal of sod
  • Install mulch pathways

              September 13th

  • Plant trees & shrubs
  • Install ground cover
  • Build shed
  • Install 1000 litre totes on site
  • Press and make cider (go on an OFRE pick and bring your own apples!)

Please sign up (see links below) to be a part of this amazing event. Involvement is greatly encouraged, and will be immensely appreciated!

The 5th year anniversary of Operation Fruit Rescue Edmonton is a wonderful time to find the fruit hidden in our city!

Servus Credit Union Ripple Fund – Vote for OFRE!

OFRE recent’y qualified for a community driven grant/funding program called the Ripple fund from Servus Credit Union. It’s a facebook contest that is designed to help organizations creating a ripple in their cities or communities get a bit of funding to help them continue to create ripples and lasting community change.

OFRE volunteers have been working hard behind the scenes to plan an exciting year and have a few fun projects in mind such as a Community Orchard right here in Edmonton! To read more about us and our grant application, please go to the website and vote for us! Every vote counts and thanks for your support!

OFRE Orchard & Cider Shack Design Charrette, March 16, 2013

OFRE volunteers have been working hard behind the scenes to plan some exciting projects for the 2013 season. Projects that involve you, our community!

DETAILS – the what, where & when

OFRE is pleased to announce an open design charrette to help in the design of community orchard and cider shack on an inner city site. The charrette will take place on Saturday March 16th 11-4 pm at Kasian Architecture Interior Design and Planning Ltd. office located in Commerce Place on Jasper ave and 102ndstreet (accessible by bus, lrt, parking on street available, but limited).

OFRE Orchard & Cider Shack Design Charrette

Why an orchard?

OFRE is working to build a community orchard and cider shack to help us reach our goals of providing education workshops and outreach to Edmontonians. We will be able to provide OFRE with a home and continue to build on the strength of partnerships.This bountiful partnership with the city will be fruitful for years to come!

The goal of the charrette is to provide design options and generate ideas for the construction of a permaculture based designed orchard with a small on site cider shack for the storage of tools and cider making equipment.

Who can participate? If you are passionate about design, have knowledge of permaculture principles or building technology, we want YOU to be a part of our design charrette!

Idyllic Orchard Pick and Fruit Mob

good apples

apple picking at sunrise

apple picking

This past weekend, OFRE volunteers trekked outside the city to pick apples on a farm in Namao. The owners had 15 different types of apple trees!

They were kind enough to label all the trees for us by name so that we could learn what different types of apples grow in Alberta. Some of the names of apples we picked were: Norkent, Norland, Rescue Apple Crabapple, Dongo Crabapple, September Ruby, and Fall Red Apple.

Since we had such a large place to pick, we invited lots of pickers and with lots of pickers, why not hold a fruit mob and see how fast we could all pick one tree! Neighborhood fruit captain, Mike Johnson oriented all 8 pickers on how to do a fruit mob and led the attack.  It was picked in 18min and 59 sec. Way to go fruit ninja’s!


OFRE Orchard & Cider Shack Design Charrette

Everyone had a fun time, it was beautiful weather, and it was a pleasure to take a short jaunt out of the city and hang out in a farm orchard for the day. Our hosts were kind enough to make us fresh carrot juice from carrots them had just picked in their garden. How nice! It was delicious too! Our youngest little helper was a bit pooped by the end of the pick, but was a joy to have around. She got passed among the pickers as we entertained her with cuddles, apples, and explored the orchard with her.

With such a nice orchard, we got to thinking of other ways we can work with this grower and suggested doing a group pruning event to give his trees a needed trim and enable other fruit growers to learn techniques for pruning their own fruit trees. They were quite excited about the idea, so we are going to work on this and try to plan an event in the off season. It’s best to prune fruit trees after the harvest and before spring. Stay tuned!