Throughout the first few meetings with people interested in the orchard the main idea didn't change: turning the public park into a small scale diversity library with portuguese and foreign heirlooms. Using the ornamental fruit trees as rootstocks for grafting edible varieties (grafting edible pomegranates on the ornamental ones; grafting apricots on cherry plums and so on) and planting other fruits, following a permaculture approach so looking at our site as a food forest, we would plant tall and small trees, fruit bushes (raspberries, blueberries, aronias...), vines (kiwi's, different passionfruits and grapes), not forgetting to plant guilds around the trees for nutrient improvement of the soil and to attract pollinators.
The drawing below shows a first draft of the project. From the existing trees, only those that produce fruit are represented (we didn't have access to a plan of the park then, while we were waiting for having access to one from the municipality, we thought it was best to start putting in paper some thought ). What is called "new guild" represents the paths along which trees would be planted according to the flows of the site (wind, water, light).
Now, finally, we have the park's plans with all the existing trees, so we can better develop our project!
To that end, we are organizing a meeting at the orchard, a sort of round-table (+ picnic) discussion on urban food projects and how to create a community. Everyone is invited to come along and share ideas on such topics and contribute to the design of the orchard. On 14th of June at 16h30, under the trees. Just bring a blanket to sit and a picnic basket to share!