Community Fruit Trees
A community fruit tree is a publicly owned fruit tree that is easily accessible for anyone to pick from. A sign next to the tree invites people to enjoy the fruit. Each tree can be found on the online map below that is brought to you by our friends at fallingfruit.org.
We plant Community Fruit Trees in many different locations where the public can access them including residential front yards and businesses with access from a public sidewalk, in the medians between streets and sidewalk, at schools, in public parks, in churchyards and along bike trails. These trees are planted where people walk every day and where they are highly accessible.
In 2018, the Community Fruit Trees program launched in Orlando, where planted over 200 Community Fruit Trees. In November of 2019 we began offering grants to folks across the USA to bring Community Fruit Trees to their towns. So far we have awarded six grants resulting in the planting of 71 fruit trees in four more states.
Using this map, you can find Community Fruit Trees near you. You can also use fallingfruit.org to find accessible fruit trees in your area.
Although the idea of Community Fruit Trees may be simple, it is a world away from the industrial, globalized food system where most of us get our food today. A majority of the fruit at the supermarket has traveled across the nation, or even across the world, in fossil fuel powered trucks, ships and planes. It’s picked before it’s ripe, which means it has not developed to peak flavor or nutrition and is likely bred for shipping and storage characteristics rather than flavor and nutrition. (Learn more about our current food system with this video). Fruit from a Community Fruit Tree is a world away from this. It is not monetized. No financial transactions take place at all. Instead, nature and community provide for each other. And the fruit is likely to be some of the freshest and richest that can be found. We’re on a mission to wake people up to the idea that food doesn’t have to come from the store. It can be growing all around us for free!
A fruit tree typically costs our program around $30 plus the time needed to plant, but it has the potential to produce fruit for multiple generations of people to come. For the cost of a few bags of fruit, we can instead produce thousands of pounds of fruit that can feed hundreds of people over the tree’s lifetime. Fruit trees are one of the greatest investments we can make for our health, our communities and for the improvement of our natural environment. Fruit trees require minimal input at the start and minimal maintenance in the long run.
Through the Community Fruit Tree Project, we aim to ensure that our neighbors have access to quality healthy food, reduce hunger, improve our natural environment for both people and other species, create a deeper connection to our food, and create independence from the globalized, industrial food system. A Community Fruit Tree strengthens communities by bringing people together over food, creating a sharing mindset, and improving the air, soil and water.
We have created a Community Fruit Tree Care Guide to help people be good stewards to the fruit trees. This guide is designed specifically for Central Florida, the birthplace of Community Fruit Trees. However, this guide can be quite helpful wherever someone may be in the USA. It can be used as a general idea and then local resources should be found for the details. The resource page from The Fruit Tree Planting Foundation is an amazing resource, including a guide to planting fruit trees, how to prune fruit trees and more.
See our Community Fruit Trees FAQ page where we have answered some questions we often receive regarding Community Fruit Trees and planting fruit trees in general.
Are you a part of the Community Fruit Tree program? Join our Facebook Group. This group is just for people directly involved with the Community Fruit Tree program.
Want to get involved?
Here’s how you can:
-Plant a Community Fruit Tree in your community. Just follow the guidelines for a good location, put up a sign, add it to the fallingfruit.org map and then email us at firstname.lastname@example.org so we can add it to the database.
-Already have a fruit tree and want to share the bounty with your community? Designate it a Community Fruit Tree. Just put up a sign, add it to the fallingfruit.org map and then email us at email@example.com so we can add it to the database.
-Apply for a grant to receive funding to plant Community Fruit Trees in your community! Email firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more and receive an application.
Here are some of the Community Fruit Trees we’ve planted so far!
Planting on the median between the street and sidewalk:
Five fruit trees freshly planted on the median:
A pomegranate tree planted in the front yard with easy access from the sidewalk. Rob is teaching a gardening class in this photo:
We have planted 24 Community Fruit Trees along the sidewalk of the Audubon Park Covenant Church:
This is a front yard Community Fruit Tree Orchard with 7 fruit trees:
Planting with children at Innovation Montessori School:
A 50 tree Community Fruit Tree orchard planted in one morning with volunteers in 2019:
Volunteers at the church also took home trees to plant at their own homes:
Community Fruit Trees is a grassroots project led by Rob Greenfield and the Live Like Ally Foundation. We have planted over 200 Community Fruit Trees so far. We hope to inspire and empower people to plant thousands of fruit trees across the nation.