Osseo residents now have a new source for free, fresh berries and fruits.
The Osseo Orchard was established in fall 2017, and the first berries are expected to be ready to harvest in summer 2018. (Fruit will be ready to harvest after the trees have been established, approximately 3-4 years from now.) New Hope-based nonprofit The Food Group & the City of Osseo partnered with sponsors The Fruit Tree Planting Foundation & vitafusion™ to create a community orchard.
Volunteers planted over 30 trees and fruiting shrubs at the Osseo Public Works site (at the intersection of 2nd Street SE and 8th Ave SE) on September 20. The orchard includes apples, pears, plums, and cherries. Berries include blueberries, currants, and jostaberries (a cross between currants and gooseberries). A variety of hearty species were selected for the orchard by The Fruit Tree Planting Foundation’s arborist. You can learn more about the plants in the orchard at Osseo’s PlantsMap profile. Small plaques with species information and VR codes linking to PlantsMap will be installed at the orchard in 2018.
The harvest from these trees will be used for the community. Residents are welcome to visit the orchard and take advantage of ripe produce. Remaining produce will be gleaned by volunteers from The Food Group and distributed to local food shelves. Support for planning this event was provided by Hennepin County’s “Creating Healthier Communities” grant and the Minnesota Department of Health’s Statewide Health Improvement Partnership (SHIP).
Interested residents are encouraged to contact City Hall for opportunities to learn about tree care and help maintain the orchard. The Food Group will host several events at the orchard in 2018, including a March 25 tree-care and pruning class and ongoing maintenance activities.