The Fairhill neighborhood around 9th & Indiana Streets in North Philly has plenty of new life in the form of edible greenery & community, thanks largely to its partnership with POP! Throughout the season, neighbors of various ages have been planting, harvesting, & spending much more time in the Historic Fair Hill Burial Ground Orchard (900 block of W Indiana St), Evelyn Sanders Orchard (3000 block of N Percy St), & 9th & Indiana Corner Gardens.
In March, Fair Hill Burial Ground had a workparty with Philly Food Forests to remove all of its raised beds & redesign its garden for greater food production, better aesthetics, & expanded edible perennial plantings. The raised beds from Fair Hill were reconstructed in the nearby Evelyn Sanders Orchard, where there are now 8 beds exploding with vegetables in addition to the prolific perennial edibles lining the lot’s fences & a sturdy new bench where residents relax. The workparty was followed in April by a great POP volunteer day where 12 varieties of berries, 2 rose bushes, & 4 varieties of fruit trees were planted throughout the burial ground’s garden space. The corner of 9th & Indiana Streets has had a beautiful makeover due to new neighbor involvement, benches, new fruit trees, & colorful perennial flowers.
Community gathering at the revitalized Peaches Garden at 9th & Indiana.
The sites have come alive this summer with community meetings, first fruit harvests, summer camp visits, art projects, produce giveaways, & July 14th’s annual Fair Hill Summer Festival, proven to be the best attended yet! If you would like to visit the area & learn about its bounty, feel free to stop by any Monday, Thursday, or Saturday between 4-6pm when POP’s Orchard Liaison for the sites, Robyn Mello, has the Fair Hill gates opened. She’d be more than happy to give you a tour & a tasting!
Orchard Report contributed by Robyn Mello of Philly Food Forests, Occupy Vacant Lots, Fairhill Burial Ground, and POP’s Orchard Committee.
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