the urban orchard project

In the summer of 2017, Ugly Food of the North partnered with The Longspur Prairie Foundation to create Moorhead's first Community Orchard. 

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What is an Urban Orchard?

An Urban Orchard is a fruit orchard located on a privately owned residential property, designed to be shared with the community. The plants and trees are owned and maintained by the homeowner (or tenant), and the food grown is to be harvested and enjoyed by anyone who wants it or needs it.

Why have an urban orchard? 

The goal of the Urban Orchard project is to challenge norms and expectations about what private residential yards are to be used for, and to provide access to fresh, locally grown food for neighbors and strangers.

There are countless benefits to transforming basic turf-grass lawns into beautiful food producing gathering places. Here are a just few of the reasons:

  • Urban Orchards produce healthy, local + delicious food. Over 42 million Americans are food insecure, while an estimated two-thirds of Americans are either overweight or obese. Creating a space to grow fruits  free for the taking is a simple way to encourage people to eat more nutrient-dense fruit and less processed, unhealthy food.
  • It’s a WAY Better Use of Resources! It’s estimated that turf-grass lawns in the United States cover more acres of land than corn, alfalfa, soybeans, orchards, vineyards, cotton, pastures, wheat, and hay combined. Not only do turf-grass lawns use tremendous resources (water, chemicals, etc.), but they also take up space that could otherwise be used to grow food. Turf-grass serves no purpose beyond a pleasing aesthetic. Urban Orchards provide the aesthetic appeal and so much more!
  • Urban Orchards create a sense of place in a neighborhood. Many neighborhoods lack nearby parks, or other spaces for neighbors to meet, gather and build community. Without these open spaces for connections and relationship building, neighbors might never have a chance to connect and become neighbors in the truer sense. The Urban Orchard allows homeowners to unlock their yard to become an asset for everyone in a community to come together and enjoy fresh food.
  • Urban Orchards create an outdoor classroom for food skills education. What better place to teach people about food than the place it’s grown? An Urban Orchard creates an outdoor classroom right in the heart of neighborhoods for hands-on learning about food from tree to table.

Find the moorhead community orchard

The orchard is housed at 802 3rd St. S. in Moorhead Minnesota. This is a private residence with a front yard orchard and a Little Free Garden open to the public. 

Please be respectful of the property and only visit during daylight hours.