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

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.

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

2018 Orchard Partner Survey Summary

POP surveys all of our orchard partners at season’s end and we like to share what we’ve learned each year! Each year, we ask partners about their orchards, orchard challenges, orchard value, community involvement, yields, distribution methods, how we perform as partners, our educational offerings, and how to improve. In all, 52 of 62 POP … Continue reading 2018 Orchard Partner Survey Summary

Health Benefits of Orchard Fruits

As you might already know, POP’s community orchards are beneficial in a number of ways, providing: Beautiful neighborhood green spaces that provide opportunities for community gathering and engagement; A wide range of environmental benefits including providing pollinator habitats, sequestering carbon, and reducing stormwater runoff; Opportunities for micro-enterprise and hands-on food system and nature education; A … Continue reading Health Benefits of Orchard Fruits

Orchard Partner Stories: a look back at 2018

Every year we ask our orchard partners to reflect on the season and to share stories with us about what the orchard provides for their community. Below are some of our favorite excerpts from 2018 celebrating the beauty, abundance, and power of city orchards to serve as an engaging place of discovery and connection. Norris … Continue reading Orchard Partner Stories: a look back at 2018

10th Annual East Park Apple Festival

This year’s 10th annual East Park Apple Festival included a beautiful clear sky, perfect Fall weather, plenty of community involvement, and LOTS of apples.  The festival, which has been held at historic Woodford Mansion every October since 2009, is a collaboration between Woodford, the East Park Revitalization Alliance (EPRA), and the Philadelphia Orchard Project (POP). … Continue reading 10th Annual East Park Apple Festival

Honoring Roseann McLaughlin and GrowAbility Honeybee Sensory Lesson Book (PDF Download)

It’s with deep sadness that we at the Philadelphia Orchard Project offer our heartfelt condolences to the family, friends, and community of Roseann McLaughlin of Overbrook School for the Blind, who passed November 2, 2018 in a tragic house fire. Roseann was the enthusiastic and loving cornerstone of the school’s Farm-To-Table program begun in 2013, … Continue reading Honoring Roseann McLaughlin and GrowAbility Honeybee Sensory Lesson Book (PDF Download)

Getting Funky with Fermentation – MS/HS Lesson (PDF Download)

If there’s one thing we continually learn in offering our School Orchard Program it’s that culinary classes are always a hit with students and teachers alike! They’re hands-on and sensory-rich, foster team-work, collaboration, and creative thinking, and offer educators a breadth of content integration possibilities. Take for instance a recent summertime lesson on fermentation we offered … Continue reading Getting Funky with Fermentation – MS/HS Lesson (PDF Download)