The Hilton Harvest orchard began its growing days in June 2011 in the community gardens second flourishing year. After surveying garden members about what mattered most to them when choosing plants for the orchard, it became clear that the community wanted trees which produced masses of fruit, that were too large for backyard gardens, that were easy to look after and that made wise use of our scarce water resources. So with garden members braving the cold winter winds the first of the orchards trees were planted. A huge Hilton Harvest thank you to Shona, Helen & Josh, Adam, Renee, Mary , Melissa , Andy and Sarah – your donations were invaluable!
The orchard is fully established now and us producing bumper crops! Currently the orchard is home to fig, almond, two apple (dorset gold and anna), two nectarine, two peach and two plum trees. Planted in a block to allow the trees to be fenced and netted, the orchard provides the perfect scratching ground for the resident chooks during school time hours.
We also have a citrus grove along our northern fence line and olives along our eastern fence, plus passionfruit growing along many fences.
This wonderful addition to our community garden space could not have happened without the help of all of those that came down to mulch, lay irrigation and plant on the day and especially those who donated to the orchard.
The orchard was fenced in mid 2016 by our lovely Work for the Dole crew so the chooks can scratch around and then we also be able to net the orchard trees to keep out pesky fruit fly.