This past Friday and Saturday was the University of Iowa Student Garden’s orchard planting event. And it’s true what they say, many hands do lighten the load! This weekend’s orchard planting days went better than we ever could have hoped for. We had so many volunteers we were able to get the ground de-soded (that means we ripped out the grass to make room for the tree holes) in about two hours on Friday, and we planted all 39 trees in about three hours on Saturday. That’s half the time we expected it to take! Of course, there was some fairly back-breaking work to be done. De-sodding was the hardest task, and laying down mulch (a mixture of wood chips and dirt) is never fun. But the hard work paid off, and I think everyone had a really great time. Thank you to all of the volunteers who joined us from the Iowa City community, the environmental science classes, Northwest Junior High School, and everyone else who came out and helped make the student learning orchard a reality! And, of course, a huge thanks to Andy Dahl who made this all happen. The orchard is still full of young trees, and will not produce any fruit for about five years, but stop by during the summer to watch for some great flowers. In the meantime, the orchard will be used to teach classes about trees, plants, and the environment to the Iowa City community. If anyone is interested in visiting the orchard or would like to attend a class there, please email me at email@example.com.
See some photos of the orchard planting here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/sustainabilityuiowa/sets/72157633387155627/