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Get your tickets now for POP’s 4th annual Orchard Dinner on September 19th at The Woodlands!

POP works with community-based groups and volunteers to plan and plant orchards filled with useful and edible plants. POP provides orchard design assistance, plant materials, and training in orchard care. Community organizations own, maintain, and harvest the orchards, expanding community-based food production, environmental benefits, and opportunities for nature education. Orchards are planted in formerly vacant lots, community gardens, schoolyards, and other spaces, primarily in low-wealth neighborhoods where people have limited access to fresh fruit.

Please join POP in building a more beautiful and bountiful city for all!

Bartram's planting 2

Learn more about POP’s work via our recent feature video on WHYY TV!

Join POP in making more orchard-based educational resources available to our partners. Donate to our end-of-fiscal year campaign today!

VOLUNTEER SPOTLIGHT: Eldredge Ragsdale

POP will be celebrating partner/volunteer Eldredge ‘Rags’ Ragsdale with a Golden Persimmon Award at this year’s Orchard Dinner event on September 19th at The Woodlands. Rags is a true force of nature in his gardening efforts at multiple sites in North and Northwest Philadelphia, including POP partner sites Historic Strawberry Mansion and Awbury Arboretum. The … Continue reading VOLUNTEER SPOTLIGHT: Eldredge Ragsdale

ISSUE BRIEFING: Threats to Honeybee & Native Bee Populations and What You Can Do!

Think “bee,” and you’ll probably picture the familiar European honeybee (Apis mellifera) – small, with gold and black bands across its belly. But before the European honeybee was introduced to North America, there were already 4,000 species of bees on this continent. Although each of these varieties of bees have different life cycles and habitat needs, they all rely on flower nectar and pollen for their food.

Fruit Thinning & Recipes for Unripe Thinned Plums

This time of year, most common fruit trees need thinning as they tend to overproduce fruit. The fruit that is thinned is often inedible as it needs to be thinned before it is fully ripened. However, in the case of thinned plums, simply cooking them down can reduce their bitterness and transform them into a pleasant, tart addition to many recipes.

POP TIPS: Spinosad Orchard Sprays

POP encourages all orchard partners and backyard fruit growers to take every step in orchard management prior to pesticide or fungicide application. However, the unfortunate reality is that ecosystem imbalances and fast rates of reproduction and adaptation among pests and diseases make it very difficult to maintain no-spray orchards. If the following pests are decimating your crops, Spinosad is a recent natural pesticide development and alternative to Bt, which may be worth carefully exploring.

POP Field Trip: Truelove Seeds

I had the pleasure of visiting Owen Taylor at his farm within the Mill Hollow Farm in Newtown Square, Pennsylvania. Owen runs Truelove Seeds, a network of 20 farms that offers “rare, open pollinated, and culturally important vegetable, herb, and flower seeds.” Among this network of seed growers are several POP orchard partner sites, including Sankofa Farm at Bartram’s Garden, Mill Creek Farm, and Pentridge Children’s Garden.

POP TIPS: Black Knot on Cherry and Plum Trees

Black Knot identification, symptoms, and life cycle Sometimes, in the springtime, cherry and plum trees may develop subtle, velvety olive-green swellings on their branches or twigs. If left unattended, these swellings turn into large, brittle, unsightly black galls that can kill the whole limb or even stunt the growth of the entire tree. These galls … Continue reading POP TIPS: Black Knot on Cherry and Plum Trees

Introducing POP’s Bilingual Rainbow Nutrition & Recipe Cards — Available for Download

In surveying our 62 orchard partners through our annual orchard partner survey, we heard that some fruit gets picked before it’s ripe and that some partners wanted more information to share with their community members on how to harvest, store, and prepare common or native fruits of their orchards. This feedback has been pretty common … Continue reading Introducing POP’s Bilingual Rainbow Nutrition & Recipe Cards — Available for Download

Supporting Threatened Pollinator Habitats & Introducing our Swarthmore Student Researcher Team

We here at POP are excited to share that we have been paired with 4 student researchers from Swarthmore College, who will be working with us over 8 weeks through POP’s School Orchard Program to create educational materials around building habitat for threatened pollinator species. Over the course of these 8 weeks, students will have … Continue reading Supporting Threatened Pollinator Habitats & Introducing our Swarthmore Student Researcher Team

2018 School Orchard Program Recap & A Look Ahead to 2019

In 2018, POP’s School Orchard Program continued to expand in offering unique, engaging, and hands-on learning activities for students, centered in 9 of 12 POP partner school orchards. In total, we offered 26 unique topical lessons, created 6 downloadable lesson and material packs for teachers to use in their classrooms, made 440 total student impressions … Continue reading 2018 School Orchard Program Recap & A Look Ahead to 2019

POPHarvest Program Update 2018-19

The POPHarvest gleaning program has taken a few turns and this year ventured into new fruiterritory, launching a new POPHarvestEd workshop series! The POPHarvest program, first piloted in 2014, is focused on picking and distributing fruit that would otherwise go to waste. These programs have taken two primary forms: distributing excess production from regional commercial … Continue reading POPHarvest Program Update 2018-19

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