In collaboration with Grow Raleigh, Community Food Lab is initiating an edible tree planting project in downtown Raleigh. The pilot phase began July 11 when volunteers handed out small yard signs that indicated the future location of a fruit tree, nut tree, or berry bush. The pilot area spans two neighborhoods of Southeast Raleigh (Prince Hall and South Park) that are classified as food deserts by the USDA, where poverty is high and access to healthy food is difficult. The response that City Fruit takes to this situation is to encourage the development of in-neighborhood fresh food grown on trees and bushes in the neighborhood. It won't solve food deserts but it will bring a low-cost long-term food source directly where it's needed.
A team of volunteers will return to the sites where the signs were placed(all private property) to plant the trees/bushes. Follow-up from our team will include some training materials and guidance for residents on what to expect.
Each tree or bush will be planted within sight of the street, so that they contribute to a visual presence of food in these neighborhoods and offer an opportunity for conversation and awareness about healthy food access.
Funded by Raleigh-Durham, NC (October 2015)