Just think. If you were to plant a fruit tree (or bush or vine) in your yard, come harvest time you’d have a wonderful treat for your family. If you were to plant two fruit trees, you’d have enough to share with friends and all your neighbors.
If you were to plant three trees, you’d be begging people to take some of the fruit off your hands.
That’s pretty much the idea behind Atlanta Local Food Initiative’s annual fruit plant sale, which will be held this Saturday. Sure, it’s a fundraiser for the nonprofit organization, but it’s also a direct fulfillment of the group’s mission: to create a more sustainable food system.
“Since the fruit tree sale began—this is our third year—there about 5,000 new fruit plants in and around the city of Atlanta,” says executive director Barbara Petit. “Our goal is to sell fruit plants at very reasonable costs … partly as a fundraiser, but more importantly, to get people to grow good, healthy food in the metro area.”
And this is the good stuff. Choose among multiple varieties of apple, fig, kiwi, paw-paw, pear, persimmon, plum and pomegranate trees; blueberry, blackberry and raspberry bushes; and muscadine vines. New offerings this year include nectarine and hazelnut trees, as well as several organic varieties of the other fruits.
Farmer D Organics will be on hand with gardening materials for sale (yes, this is the time of year to plant), and Café Campesino will be there with organic fair trade coffee.
Fruit plants sell for $8 to $30 each; discounts are available for purchases over $100 (e-mail Petit, Barbara@atlantalocalfood.org, to make arrangements). Last year, the sale brought in about $20,000 for ALFI, Petit says.
What you do with all that fruit is up to you. Exactly where the trees, bushes and vines get planted—in private yards, community gardens, urban farms—is not important, Petit says. “It all adds up. Every little bit matters. It adds to the food security of the people of the Atlanta metro area. And it also adds to the beauty of our city.”
> The Incredible Edible Grow-it-Yourself Fruit Tree, Vine & Berry Bush Sale is this Saturday, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., at Atlanta Community Food Bank: 970 Jefferson St., Atlanta.