Orchard Planting

 “We have gathered here today on March 8, 2014, to plant Benicia Community Orchard and to celebrate the beginning of a community of people united by a common vision of local abundance and our reverence for the Earth.

We promise to keep our orchard beautiful and productive, to use resources wisely, to work together in the spirit of cooperation and mutual respect, to share the fruits of our labor with community members in need, and to inspire a larger community of Benicia to learn and grow together.”

A group of people gathered around a bare slope of land is slowly repeating these words. Children and adults are holding eighteen lit candles – according to the number of trees they are about to plant: apples, pears, apricot, almond, figs, Asian pears, plum, persimmon, pomegranate, and oranges. They carefully place the burning candles in the designated spots for each tree, and then the work begins.

It’s a hard labor. The soil is difficult: mostly hard-packed clay and Devonian era sandstone. They are digging eighteen holes and a trench for the drip irrigation system using pickaxes and shovels, and occasionally a jackhammer. They are moving in organic rich soil and preparing bare root trees for planting. They eat lunch together, laugh and even dance. Children are painting signs for each tree. Mayor Elizabeth Patterson pays a surprise visit… At the end of the day, the eighteen tiny trees are happily resting in their new places, surrounded by good soil, a healthy mix of organic fertilizers, and bright happy signs bearing their names.

This was a sight from the Benicia Community Orchard planting. The people who made it all happen in one day are the members of the Benicia Community Orchard, the angel helpers from a non-profit organization called “Common Vision” dedicated to planting orchards throughout California, and members of Heritage Presbyterian Church – the host location of the new Orchard.

Benicia Herald article here (http://beniciaheraldonline.com/sharing-the-harvest-community-gardens-to-dedicate-orchard-site/ ).

Click on these pictures to scroll through a slideshow of Orchard Program pictures:

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Upcoming Events

6:30 pm Vaca Valley Grange Meeting @ Contact for meeting information/address
Vaca Valley Grange Meeting @ Contact for meeting information/address
Dec 7 @ 6:30 pm
Vaca Valley Grange meets on the first Tuesday of each month. Vaca Valley Grange was revived in 2019 with the goal of bringing individuals, families, and the community together through agriculture. The chapter strives to[...]
6:00 pm A Conversation with Ellie Cohen @ Online
A Conversation with Ellie Cohen @ Online
Dec 8 @ 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Join the Climate Reality Bay Area Chapter for a Zoom conversation with Ellie Cohen, CEO of The Climate Center. The Santa Rosa-based organization is a climate and energy policy nonprofit working to rapidly reduce climate[...]
9:00 am Benicia Tree Care Days @ Lake Herman Open Space
Benicia Tree Care Days @ Lake Herman Open Space
Dec 11 @ 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
Join Benicia Tree Foundation for its Tree Care Days at Lake Herman Open Space in December. Volunteers are asked to register in advance so there are enough supplies. Register here.
9:00 am Nature Hike at Patwino Worrtla K... @ Suisun City/Green Valley
Nature Hike at Patwino Worrtla K... @ Suisun City/Green Valley
Dec 11 @ 9:00 am – 10:00 am
Solano Land Trust will lead this moderate to strenuous, 4-6 mile hike through the vistas of Solano County searching for wildflowers. Registration is required. Find other upcoming events from Solano Land Trust here.