POP has planted orchards with a diverse range of community-based organizations throughout Philadelphia.
The Awbury Food Forest (AFF) is an evolving perennial demonstration site designed using permaculture ethics, principles and techniques with the goal of creating habitat, edible/medicinal resources, and fostering community engagement in a sustainable way. AFF is managed by a volunteer stewardship group with the support of the Philadelphia Orchard Project. To volunteer please visit https://awbury.org/volunteer/.
Philadelphia’s most diverse community orchard is located at Bartram’s Garden, America’s first botanic garden. Over 130 fruit and nut trees demonstrate the breadth of what can be grown in Philadelphia. The orchard is one part of Sankofa Farm, a larger partnership with Bartram’s Garden, PHS, and Parks & Recreation. Fruit from the orchard supplements other produce distributed via a youth farmer program within the communities of SW Philly. The park and garden is open for visitation during daylight hours.
Cobbs Creek CEEC Orchard
The Cobbs Creek Community Environmental Education Center now features a small food forest with 3 pear trees, 2 plum trees and plantings of native berry bushes. It also contains a bountiful number of strawberry plants. Six paw paw trees were planted in 2021. A small vegetable garden and children’s garden club is also on-site. The harvest will be used through on-site programs, including school and camp visits.
Fair Hill Orchard
Historic Fair Hill Burial Ground added an orchard to the community garden on the edge of their landmark cemetery, where famous abolitionists rest. Fair Hill maintains several garden locations in the neighborhood and youth involved in their environmental education programs share the harvest with families and neighbors. See website (historicfairhill.org) for events and limited open hours.
Fairmount Park Horticulture Center Orchard
Fruit trees, berry bushes, and a wide range of perennials and groundcovers grow together in this educational food forest planting developed in a partnership between Philadelphia Parks & Recreation, PSU’s Philadelphia Master Gardeners, and POP. The site is now managed by local Girl Scout troops as well as Master Gardeners. The orchard is located near the Horticulture Center gazebo between the Shofuso Japanese House and the long fountain.
FNC Poplar Farm Orchard
Formerly known as Teens 4 Good, the FNC Community Learning Farms run a variety of educational and community programs and sell home-grown produce at farmstands and farmers markets around the city. The orchard supplements vegetable production and proceeds are reinvested in their youth programs. The 8th & Poplar site is the original Teens 4 Good Farm and one of POP’s first planting locations. Visit the farm and purchase produce at their weekly on-site farmstand, Wednesdays 3pm-6pm (growing season only).
Grumblethorpe Historic House and Gardens is a historic landmark owned and operated by the Philadelphia Society for the Preservation of Landmarks. This historic property is a lush garden oasis in the heart of Germantown, Philadelphia with a focus on youth education and engagement. The 2-acre site includes a house museum, vegetable farm, and a historic and ornamental landscape packed with fruiting trees and shrubs, which supply the youth employment based farm stand. See website (https://www.philalandmarks.org/grumblethorpe) to arrange a visit or visit their youth farm stand on Saturdays in the Summer.
Overbrook Center Orchard
JASTECH partnered with POP and the Master Gardeners to create this food forest orchard at the site of their Overbrook Education Center. The site also features a production hoophouse, aquaculture demonstration, pollinator gardens, and extensive stormwater management infrastructure. The produce is used in educational programs and an on site teaching kitchen. Best way to visit is to volunteer or participate in a wide variety of cultural and health programs.
Penn Park Orchard
POP assisted in designing and planting an extensive food forest orchard at the southern end of Penn Park on campus at the University of Pennsylvania. The park is accessible from 30th & Walnut St and check out a bird’s eye view of the orchard from the South Street bridge!
POP Learning Orchard @ The Woodlands
The POP Learning Orchard at The Woodlands is an educational hub for sharing best practices in ecological orchard care with partners, volunteers, and the public. It is one part of POP’s new headquarters and operational hub at The Woodlands. Sign up to help out at weekly Tuesday volunteer work days if you want to check out the space!
Strawberry Mansion Orchard
SHARE Orchard at Nice Roots Farm
Share Food Program’s Nice Roots Farm, started in 2010, is quarter acre urban agriculture project with 20+ raised beds and 20+ fruiting trees, that grows organic vegetables, fruits and herbs, and donates the yield to the community. The main function of Nice Roots Farm is to serve as an demonstration space for youth and the community, through educational field trips, internships and workshops about urban ag, wellness and nutrition.
Wissahickon Environmental Center Orchard
The Wissahickon Environmental Center (aka Tree House) is home to a newly planted food forest with special focus on demonstrating edible native plants. Fruit and yields from the orchard are used in a wide range of on site educational programs, which are the best way to engage with the space.
The East Park Revitalization Alliance, Naomi Wood Trust (woodfordmansion.org), and Philadelphia Parks & Rec collaborated with POP to bring an orchard back to the Strawberry Mansion section of the park, which was once dotted with agricultural estates. Woodford’s staff maintains the orchard and uses it for educational programs with area schools and the site is a regular host to workshops and harvest festivals. Visit this established POP orchard during Woodford Mansion’s open hours from 10-4 Wednesday through Sunday throughout the year.
Wyck Historic House Orchard
This beautiful historic site in Germantown features remarkable historic gardens, outbuildings, and recently expanded orchard plantings. Visit during regular open hours or participate in a wide variety of cultural and garden programs: wyck.org/.
Bartram HS Orchard
Fruit trees and berry bushes now compliment raised garden beds tended by a student garden club at Bartram High School. A partnership between Bartram HS, POP, Sankofa Farm at Bartram’s Garden, and PHS.
Carousel Farm Orchard
This orchard and berry garden was planted in partnership with the Federation of Neighborhood Centers and Parks & Rec at the Carousel House. The Farm Philly program of Parks & Rec operates this urban farm site.
Casa del Carmen Orchard
Casa del Carmen is a Catholic Charities service center serving the immigrant communities of central North Philadelphia. POP and the Coalition Against Hunger helped to plant fruit trees, berry bushes, fruiting vines, and herbs that will complement vegetable beds in providing fresh produce for Casa del Carmen service programs. Planted with support from the Nature Conservancy.
Chester Avenue Orchard
The Chester Avenue Community Garden includes a small orchard and the most productive kiwi vines in the city. There is a small food forest in the public area, and harvest is distributed to gardeners and neighbors.
Cramp Elementary Orchard
Fruit trees, berry bushes, herb and pollinator gardens were added as part of a community-designed schoolyard transformation led by the Mural Arts Philadelphia. The gardens and orchards are maintained and harvested by community members and school staff with support from POP, MAP, and Interpret Green.
Earth’s Keepers Orchard
Located at the Kingsessing Rec Center, this urban farm features fruit trees, kiwi vines, and berry bushes planted in partnership with POP. Earth’s Keepers manages the Youth Agriculture & Entrepreneurship program, which sells fresh produce to the neighborhood at a weekly farmstand.
Evelyn Sanders Orchard
The Women’s Community Revitalization Project planted this orchard as a community space in their new housing development for low income women and their families. The orchard is cared for by Historic Fair Hill and the harvest is distributed within the community.
Urbanstead ( http://www.urbanstead.org/ ) maintains this orchard originally planted in collaboration with the Francisville Neighborhood Development Corporation. Fruit and nut trees supplement vegetables grown at a nearby garden in this lower North Philadelphia neighborhood.
Friends Rehabilitation Program Orchard
POP partnered with FRP to plant fruit trees at a couple locations with support from The Nature Conservancy, the first phase of a neighborhood-wide project in partnership with this provider of affordable housing in the Belmont.
This orchard was planted as part of an ambitious ecological upgrade of Greenfield Elementary School’s landscape known as the Greening of Greenfield. Students use this edible forest garden as a resource to learn about food and ecology and the harvest provides healthy and nutritious snacks.
Hunting Park Orchard
Fruit trees, grapes, and a wide range of berry bushes and perennials are planted at the community garden in this revitalized North Philadelphia park. A partnership between the Hunting Park Community Garden, Fairmount Park Conservancy, Parks & Rec, and POP with initial support from the Junior League. Produce is distributed within the neighborhood by the community gardeners.
POP’s first orchard in Northeast Philadelphia is located at the Kleinlife Community Center. Orchard produce compliments vegetables grown on site and distributed through a vital meal delivery program operated by Kleinlife.
POP assisted in planting fruit trees, berry bushes, and pollinator gardens as part of a large scale schoolyard greening and stormwater management project. A partnership between Greening Lea, UPenn’s Netter Center, Philly Water, and POP. West Philly resident Chris Flounders volunteers at Lea Elementary and Philly Yardens.
Monumental BC Orchard
POP assisted in planting fruit trees, berry bushes, and more at Monumental Baptist Church. Produce from the orchard and vegetable gardens are distributed to members of the congregation and the surrounding community.
Norris Square Neighborhood Project
POP partnered with the Norris Square Neighborhood Project to plant new fruit trees, berry bushes, and pollinator and herb gardens at Las Parcelas community garden and neighboring lots. The plantings are maintained and harvested by community gardeners and youth in NSNP’s programs.
A complete edible landscape was planted around Ogden Gardens, a newly built home for adults with autism. Preston’s Paradise and residents of Ogden help maintain the orchard and gardens and the harvest is distributed within the community.
Open Kitchen Sculpture Garden
The Open Kitchen Sculpture Garden has transformed formerly vacant land in Norris Square through art and food. Harvest from new orchard plantings will be distributed to neighbors and used in weekly community potlucks.
Overbrook School for the Blind
The Overbrook School for the Blind serves children with visual impairments and other challenges. The historic multi-acre campus now features dozens of fruit trees, a berry garden, a pollinator garden and food forest providing fruit for the community as well as education opportunities for its students.
New fruit trees, berry bushes, and pollinator gardens now compliment vegetable beds at Pastorius Community Gardens and the produce is distributed to gardeners and the community. A partnership between the Pastorius gardeners, POP, and the Germantown Mennonite Historic Trust.
Penn Alexander School
POP assisted Penn Alexander in planting a small schoolyard food forest with fruit trees, berries, vines and a pollinator garden with support from The Nature Conservancy.
Pentridge Children’s Orchard
Figs and berry bushes were added and aging apple trees revived at the Pentridge Children’s Garden, a community-run garden space providing food and fun for the children of this West Philadelphia neighborhood.
Philadelphia Montessori Charter School
POP assisted in planting fruit trees, berry bushes, and pollinator gardens as part of a larger greening project at this public charter school serving Southwest Philadelphia. The orchard plantings are cared for by teachers and students and produce is used within the school. Planted with support from the Philadelphia Chapter of the Garden Club of America.
Philadelphia Ronald McDonald House — Chestnut Orchard
POP partnered with the Philadelphia Ronald McDonald House in planting a food forest orchard as part of a new landscape designed in partnership with University City District. The yield will be harvested and used in the kitchen to feed the families of seriously ill children staying at the facility.
Philadelphia Ronald McDonald House — Erie Orchard
POP assisted the Philadelphia Ronald McDonald House in planting a food forest and herb garden at their Erie Ave location. The yield is harvested and used in the kitchen to feed the families of seriously ill children staying at the facility.
The Village of Arts and Humanities has been transforming their neighborhood with art, gardens, and educational programming for decades. Their PhillyEarth program features a community food forest orchard, raised beds, chickens, and a variety of innovative structures made from salvaged materials. Expanded with support from the Philadelphia Chapter of the Garden Club of America.
Preston’s Paradise Orchard
POP helped plant cherries, figs, pawpaws, and more as part of food forest plantings at this remarkable urban homestead. The produce enhances the efforts of Preston’s Paradise to expand food production and access in their neighborhood of West Philadelphia.
Richard Allen Orchard
Planted in collaboration with staff and students from the Richard Allen Preparatory Charter School. Produce is distributed to students and food pantries.
Roxborough HS Orchard
The student greening club partnered with POP to plant fruit trees, berries and perennials in their school courtyard to grow healthy snacks for future generations of students.
Roxborough PC Orchard
The Roxborough Presbyterian Church expanded their community garden with an orchard of fruit trees and berry bushes. The harvest is distributed to a local food bank and shared among community gardeners.
Saint James UMC Orchard
Fruit trees, berry bushes, and a pollinator garden are planted in front of the church parsonage and the produce is used in youth programming and to enhance the food cupboard at St James. A partnership between Saint James United Methodist Church and POP with initial support from Project for Sacred Places.
Tertulias Orchard belonged to Tomasita Romero, who in Fall 2019 passed away. She was associated with NSNP, but since, her orchard has been maintained by NSNP staff to stay in compliance with city ordinances.
Tilden MS Orchard
Fruit trees and berry bushes now compliment raised garden beds tended by a student garden club at Tilden Middle School.
Union Baptist Church – UBC Garden of Eden
Fruit trees and berry bushes are the first step in a developing food forest at this historic church, where Marian Anderson was once a congregant. Fruit grown at the UBC Garden of Eden will complement vegetables grown in raised beds in providing fresh produce for local community fridges and neighboring senior living centers.
Walnut Hill Orchard
The Walnut Hill Community Farm operates an on-site market and CSA at this SEPTA property converted to a community park. Fruit from the orchard supplements vegetables and other produce grown on site. A partnership between POP and the Enterprise Center.
CHOP Garden at Karabots
This farm is located at the Karabots pediatric care center of the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. The farm features fruit trees and rows of berries and vines and all of the food grown is distributed to the patients and families at Karabots.
Fox Chase Farm
This expansive educational farm is run by the Philadelphia School District and works with dozens of schools in North and Northeast Philadelphia. It contains a small orchard of mature apple trees.
Henry Got Crops @ Saul HS
Saul is the largest urban agricultural high school in the country! The Henry Got Crops program involves students in food growing is a collaboration between Saul, Weavers Way Farms, Food Moxie, and PHS. The extensive orchard is one of the largest in the city, including plums, figs, paw paws, cherries, and Asian pears.
Mercy Emily Edible Park
MEEP is a small food forest now collaboratively maintained by a group of neighbors.
Mercy Life Center
The Mercy Life Center provides a variety of services for older adults and is home to a small courtyard orchard and garden.
One Art Center
One Art is a multi-faceted community space featuring arts, music, educational and cultural programs. There is a small existing orchard and plans to expand to nearby vacant lots.
Pearl St Orchard
Their mission is to build a neighborhood rooted food and land system through community leadership development and land based strategies in West Philadelphia.
Philadelphia Prison Systems Orchard
POP assisted in designing and planting the city’s largest orchard at the Philadelphia Prison Systems complex. Individuals and staff at the facility care for the orchard and distribute the produce to nearby food pantries as part of an expanding green jobs training program.
Saint Bernard Community Garden
A small food forest and berry garden were planted at the St Bernard Community Garden with help from the Neighborhood Gardens Trust, Audobon Society, and POP.
Sayre HS Garden
POP has partnered with the Agatston Urban Nutrition Initiative in expanding and supporting orchard plantings in this productive school courtyard garden.
West Central Germantown Neighbors (WCGN) maintains a garden of fruit trees and native plants and shrubs on the grounds of the Tulpehocken SEPTA station. The garden also has a growing collection of pollinator beds.
Emerald Street Farm
This small community farm in Kensington features two very productive plum trees.
Guild House West Farm
This small urban farm including fruit trees is located at an affordable housing center for seniors.
This highly productive urban farm located at the Methodist Services center includes a variety of fruit trees and berry bushes.
Food Moxie works with residents to care for a small farm including fruit trees and berry bushes at the Stenton Family Manor.
POP Land Acknowledgement
We humbly acknowledge that POP works in the unceded ancestral Indigenous territory of the Lenni Lenape and Wingohocking people, who were and continue to be active stewards of these lands. While we recognize that this land acknowledgment is not enough, we aim to uphold Indigenous visibility and sovereignty for individuals and communities who live here now, and for those who were forcibly removed from their Homelands. By offering this Land Acknowledgment, we affirm Indigenous sovereignty and will work to hold POP accountable to the needs of American Indian and Indigenous peoples.
How to Partner With POP in Planting an Orchard
Every POP orchard is planted in collaboration with a community partner group. POP provides orchard design assistance, plant materials, help with event organizing, and training in orchard care. The community partner is responsible for all ongoing care of the orchard as well as distribution of the harvest.
Community groups interested in collaborating on an orchard should first submit a POP Community Partner Application. This is followed by an evaluation and site visit conducted by POP staff. The primary criteria for selection as a community partner are: access to land, capacity of the group to care for an orchard, safety and suitability of the site itself, and plans for distribution of the harvest. POP generally requires that applicants hold long-term legal site access to the land (via ownership or a long-term lease). In recognition of systemic inequity and racially discriminatory practices that have impacted the ability of certain populations to access land or capital, exceptions to this policy may be made. (Lea esta entrada de blog en español aquí)
Upon selection, POP will help guide the community partner through preparations for a planting. Costs of planting the orchard are shared between POP and its partners on a sliding scale.
NOTE: Because of high demand for POP’s services, our orchard partner selection process is increasingly competitive. The process of evaluation, selection, and planting preparation generally takes at least 9 months and is outlined in the POP Partner Checklist. Applications for fall plantings are due by January 15th and spring plantings by July 1st.
Interested groups should complete the application via this POP Community Partner Application form. This form can also be downloaded and submitted via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Any questions about the application or partnership process can be submitted to Co-Executive Director Phil Forsyth at email@example.com or 215-724-1247.
How POP Plants
The exact mix of trees and plants in each orchard depends upon our community partner’s preferences as well as strategies for sustaining healthy, productive orchards. Most orchards are designed with a diversity of crops to bear fruit over a long season and maximize educational and ecological value.
Many POP orchards are planted as a food forest, with a canopy of dwarf or semi-dwarf trees, middle “layers” of berry bushes, and an under-story of perennials that help attract beneficial insects, deter pests, build soil fertility, and avoid the need to spray toxic chemicals. Whether or not they are planted as food forests, all POP orchards include pollinator gardens of perennial flowers and herbs. POP shares best practices in ecological orchard care and design based on organic, holistic, agroecology, and permaculture strategies.
To learn more about how and what POP plants:
POP has also created the Philadelphia Orchard Group (PHOG) listserv to help connect orchard caretakers and fruit growers in the Philadelphia area. Please join if you’re interested in learning more about orchard care or fruit growing.
What POP Plants
Fruit & Nut Trees
- Almonds, Hardy
- Asian Pears
- Cherries, Sweet
- Cherries, Tart (tolerate some shade)
- Juneberries (tolerate some shade)
- Mulberries (tolerate some shade)
- Pawpaws (tolerate some shade)
- Pears, European and Asian
- Persimmons, Asian and American
Shrubs & Berry Bushes
- Aronia/Chokeberries (tolerate some shade)
- Blackberries (tolerate some shade)
- Blueberries (tolerate some shade)
- Bush cherries
- Currants (tolerate some shade)
- Elderberries (tolerate some shade)
- Flowering Quince
- Goji berries
- Gooseberries (tolerate some shade)
- Goumis (tolerate some shade)
- Hazelnuts (tolerate some shade)
- Rugosa Roses
Perennial Vegetables, Herbs and Flowers
- Anise Hyssop
- Black Eyed Susans
- False Indigo
- Golden Star
- Lemon balm
- … and many more!