I had a chance to take a pack of kids out to a working orchard near Wrenshall, MN (pictured above) and it was just a fantastic experience, I’d never seen anything like it before, except in books. There used to be groves like this, and “wild” groves used by people and critters for sustenance all around our region, but there aren’t many left anymore according to the experts at UMD.
Imagine an apple production and consumption culture within a thriving orchardist community, small orchards dotting the landscape, filled with heritage varieties locally adapted to our region. This was the reality of the area around Duluth, Minn., during the first half of the 20th century. But the advent of the industrial food system divested this community of its heritage, although those abandoned orchards beckon our call back to a more sustainable way of life.
Last fall, I read about a new orchard coming in near 6th Ave E in Duluth’s Hillside. Today I found out about this chance to win an orchard for the Duluth Area from Edy’s Fruit Bars. Here’s a link to sign in and vote, vote early and often.
As of today Duluth was placed 3rd in the nation: Not too shabby. Hopefully if people can stay on this we can come out on top. Almost forgot: Duluth community members and organizations will get the fruit. If this is successful expect a surge in NICE homegrown Duluth pies & cobblers in the next 5-10-15 years.
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