POP has planted orchards with a diverse range of community-based organizations throughout Philadelphia.
This food forest orchard demonstrates permaculture techniques and is used as the centerpiece of educational programs for school and camp groups. A partnership between POP and Awbury Arboretum with initial support from the Harlon Fund of the Philadelphia Foundation. The best way to visit is though Awbury’s educational programs (http://awbury.org/).
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 & Rec. 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.
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 orchard is located near the Hort Center gazebo between the Shofuso Japanese House and the long fountain. To visit, follow directions and hours listed for Shofuso ( http://www.japanesehouse.org/visit-us/visitor-information/ ).
New fruit trees, berry bushes, and a filbert hedge were added to old Grumblethorpe, a Germantown historic house museum with a community farm program that involves neighborhood kids in food growing. See website ( http://www.philalandmarks.org/grum.aspx ) to arrange a visit.
Overbrook EC 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!
Poplar FNC 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).
Strawberry Mansion Orchard
POP, the SHARE Food Program, PHS, Penn State, and other partners collaborated in developing this exciting green resource center and urban farming demonstration site at SHARE headquarters. The orchards and gardens supplement regional emergency food sources with fresh, organic produce and help inspire and teach those needing food support to begin to grow their own! Best way to see the site is to sign up to volunteer (http://www.sharefoodprogram.org ).
The East Park Revitalization Alliance, Naomi Wood Trust, 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. EPRA’s youth programs maintain and use the orchard for learning and eating 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 Tuesday through Sunday.
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.
Calvary St. Augustine teamed up with POP and Preston’s Paradise to plant an orchard in the side yard of the church. Produce is distributed within the community.
This orchard and berry garden was planted in partnership with the Federation of Neighborhood Centers and Parks & Rec at the Carousel House. The FarmPhilly program of Parks & Rec operates this urban farm site.
Casa del Carmen
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. The harvest is distributed to gardeners and neighbors.
Cobbs Creek CEEC Orchard
The Cobbs Creek Community Environmental Education Center now features a small food forest and new plantings of native berry bushes. The harvest will be used through on site programs including school and camp visits.
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, berry bushes and grape vines 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.
This schoolyard orchard was originally planted in collaboration with the Mural Arts Program in a school greening project that included de-paving part of the parking lot.
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.
Lighthouse FNC Orchard
POP assisted the Federation of Neighborhood Centers in planting this orchard at Lighthouse Field in North Philly. 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.
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.
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.
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 and educational 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.
Temple PC Orchard
The Eden Project is an initiative by the Temple Presbyterian Church to create a bountiful paradise in the formerly empty lot across the street. Fruit trees and berry bushes compliment raised beds and the produce is distributed to needy members of the church’s community.
Grupo Motivos, the women’s collective of the Norris Square Neighborhood Project, maintains this orchard and a beautiful herb garden to the site. The harvest is distributed to neighbors and used in cultural and culinary programs.
Tilden MS Orchard
Fruit trees and berry bushes now compliment raised garden beds tended by a student garden club at Tilden Middle School. A partnership between Tilden, POP, the Farm at Bartram’s Garden, and PHS.
Union Baptist Church
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 will complement vegetables grown in raised beds in providing fresh produce for the on-site soup kitchen program.
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 Karabots Farm
This community farm is located at the Karabots facility of the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. The farm features fruit trees and rows of berries and vines.
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, and PHS. The extensive orchard is one of the largest in the city, including plums, figs, paw paws, cherries, and Asian pears.
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.
Jewish Farm School
New fruit trees and berry bushes are part of expanding food forest plantings at this West Philly sideyard farm, home to a variety of educational programs led by the Jewish Farm School.
Mercy Emily Edible Park
MEEP is a small food forest now collaboratively maintained by a group of neighbors.
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.
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.
Sunday Breakfast Rescue Mission
The Sunday Breakfast Rescue Mission provides housing and services for the homeless. Sunday Breakfast, the Asian Arts Initiative, and POP collaborated in creating colorful raised bed gardens featuring a wide variety of vegetables, herbs, and fruit.
The West Central Germantown Neighbors maintain a newly planted orchard at the Tulpehocken SEPTA station.
The Woodlands Orchard
POP partnered with The Woodlands to plant native fruit trees and berry bushes with the support of The Arbor Day Foundation.
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.
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 conducted by POP staff and members of our Orchard Committee. The primary criteria for selection as a community partner are: long-term legal site access, capacity of the group to care for an orchard, safety and suitability of the site itself, and plans for distribution of the harvest. 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 download the POP Community Partner Application, answer the questions on the form, and then submit it via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Any questions about the application or partnership process can be submitted to Executive Director Phil Forsyth at email@example.com or 215-724-1247.
How POP Plants
Permaculture = Permanent + Agriculture
POP plants orchards according to permaculture forest gardening techniques, 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.
The exact mix of trees and plants in each orchard depends upon our community partner’s preferences as well as permaculture strategies for sustaining healthy orchards. Most orchards are designed to bear fruit over a long season, with the exception of orchards in schoolyards where early summer and fall fruits are typically planted.
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!