Hollywood Orchard engages community in growing and using locally harvested fruit. The organization’s first kick-off event was in November 2011 and our membership has been growing quickly since. Together we have forged a vision of creating a community orchard with a unique mission:
- To create a model for sustainability and community engagement through the experience of growing and sharing food locally. Our version of “tree-to-table” is about as direct as it gets. We harvest neighborhood trees and carry the fruit to our Pop-up Kitchen where we collectively prepare and/or preserve the food during open-air events held in our community as well as outreach communities and food-charity organizations.
- To provide a holistic focus for environmental, agricultural, and food-prep learning. We organize multi-generational endeavors to cultivate the practice of ‘grass-root’ responsibilities for our land and its bounty in a fun and educational way.
In our first year we harvested over 5,000 lbs. of fruit from our virtual orchard, given away 4,000 lbs. to local food pantries, and used 1,000 lbs. to make food items for fundraisers.
A very special opportunity exists to create a model agricultural and food-use organization in the center of Hollywood, home to 14,000 residents between Griffith Park and the 101 freeway.
Eventually we hope to acquire land for an agricultural center to be located in the shadow of the world famous Hollywood sign. It will serve as a beacon for the pursuit of sustainability.Doing so, the cultural history of Hollywood as an original source of fruit production will be revived.
Our community orchard will differ from a traditional ‘community-garden model’ in that our orchard won’t have individually maintained plots for growing food for personal consumption. Neighborhood stakeholders, the majority of them apartment residents, will collectively care for the orchard as they do with the virtual orchard. The practices we develop are designed to be shared with other communities in our City and beyond.
Ultimately the Hollywood Orchard will become a vital example showing that we can join together as neighborhoods to teach and share.