A once-vacant lot on the corner of 9th and Jefferson Streets now serves as a community orchard. Josh Arthur obtained the empty lot through a tax sale in 2011. Arthur desires this local orchard to be a place where neighbors learn how to care for fruit trees. Over the last few years, neighbors have been invited to help care for the orchard’s apple trees and share in the harvest. Arthur plans to add pear, peach, and cherry trees next season which will bring the total tree count to 27.
“I love taking care of those trees. It’s therapy. I learn so much through taking care of those trees,” said Arthur.
Arthur wants to help people realize they can grow a quality product with their own hands, then take the product into their home and make something amazing like apple pie or apple butter without anyone else touching it. This orchard is just one example of how vacant lots can be used to make a difference in our community benefiting an individual, a family, or an entire neighborhood.