Public Orchard

September 17, 5:30 pm Darrin Nordahl talk
September 18, 10:30am-3:30pm Biodiesel Bus Tour
September 18, 6:30 pm Edible City Screening
September 19, 11:00am-2:00pm Canning & Preserving Workshop

How can we create public edible landscapes in our cities?

There has been a groundswell of interest in the local foods movement in the past several years. However, healthy, organic produce is still out of reach for many and food security remains a problem in the United States. Given this context, it is striking that in most American cities edible landscapes are not integrated into our urban environments. Fruit trees are discouraged in the permit process because of concerns about the mess on city streets. In addition, foraging in parks is technically illegal, as it encourages “the destruction of park property.”

How can we re-imagine and redesign our cities to allow them to become part of an urban foodshed? How can we make urban planning more participatory, transparent, and reflective of the public need for affordable and healthful food? What models, current, imagined or historical would help us to understand future directions for our cities?

Public Orchard is an architectural installation and series of events created by the Studio for Urban Projects for the 2010 01 SJ Biennial exhibition that explore these questions. The project centers around an outdoor public pavilion, installed at South Hall, which incorporates fruit trees, a community kitchen, and hands on workshop space for hosting classes, tours, and talks. The space and the events hosted in it explore models of urban edible landscapes, codes that encourage public foraging, and methods for harvesting and preserving food. Most broadly, the project visualizes the possibility of incorporating public orchards into the planning of our cities.

Public Orchard will be presented in Out of the Garage into the World in the South Hall from September 4-14 (in process and open for public viewing) and September 16-19  as part of the 2010 01 SJ Biennial, Build Your Own World.