Edible Orchards

Increasing Food Security through Community

In 2017, two edible orchards were started in Charlottetown parks, with the help of the Tree Canada Edible Trees funding program. The objective of this project is to provide an alternate, local source of food for City residents and increase awareness of urban agriculture and food security.

The first edible orchard is located in Desbrisay Park, a central location in downtown Charlottetown. This Park is located adjacent to a community garden, is accessible to many City residents, near many members of the Newcomer’s Association and close to several City schools.

The other edible orchard location is Windsor Park, a newer area of Charlottetown that is growing quickly and has many families with young children.

Edible Orchard - City staff planting day The fruit tree species and varieties were chosen carefully, based on previous research, site conditions and consultations with other local successful community gardens. The fruit trees were sourced regionally and sites were chosen that suited each species environmental preferences. The trees were planted based using permaculture techniques and watered throughout the first season to ensure survival.

The goals of the edible orchards project:

• Move the City’s Integrated Community Sustainability Plan forward.
• Develop a sustainable source of food for Charlottetown residents which is accessible and in areas where there is a need (lower income, new families, Newcomers, etc.).
• Provide food and habitat for urban wildlife. Fruit not gleaned by residents will provide a “natural” source of food for and an opportunity to celebrate our urban wildlife.
• Increase the amount of urban agriculture happening in Charlottetown to counteract the food insecurity issue faced by many residents.
• Offer some gleaning opportunities to residents as well as to non-profit groups who glean and supply food to those in need.
• Reach as many City residents as possible with the message that there is local, high quality food available in our Parks and Community Gardens.
• Build stronger City partnerships with residents and local groups such as the Desbrisay Community Gardens, the PEI Food Exchange, the Newcomer’s Association and others.
• Educate people about how to properly plant and care for fruit trees and other tree species.
• Provide environmental benefits such as: regulating soil temperature and moisture, buffering winds, providing shade, preventing soil erosion, store carbon dioxide and release oxygen, clean pollutants from our air and water and more.
• Increase the diversity of tree and shrub species in our urban forest.