What We Do:
Empowerment of individuals, families, neighborhoods and communities is at the very core of The Giving Grove's approach to achieving greater food security. Since our first community planting in the spring of 2013, small orchards have been popping up all over metropolitan Kansas City, and now other cities as well. These orchards are championed and maintained by individuals in their community. Every neighborhood has a champion entrepreneur. They learn, grow, give time and harvest to transform and reshape their community. We call them stewards. These stewardship teams invest what they can to pay for their trees and our Giving Grove staff carefully select cultivars and varieties proven to thrive in our region with greater disease and pest resistance. In addition, we offer a series of workshops that equip orchard stewards in using a holistic approach to orchard care including learning about healthy soil biology, yearly pruning techniques, holistic pest management, and community engagement strategies.
These community orchards are beginning to provide a source of nutritious fruits and nuts for neighborhoods in need. The orchards are also growing a community of curiosity and connection to nature. We delight when neighbors gather in the orchard for harvest celebrations, weddings, and other community events. Children on their way to school sometimes stop for a snack, and best of all, new relationships are being forged among neighbors.
Community orchards work because individuals care for their community and the greater community supports them.