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Friday, November 13, 2015

Roosevelt Island Mini Urban Orchard Of 5 Fruit Bearing Apple Trees Planted By iDig2Learn, Girl Scouts, Garden Club and Trees New York - Stay Tuned Next Fall For Tasty Apple Pie And Cider

iDig2Learn founder Christina Delfico reports on the November 11 Roosevelt Island Fruit Tree Planting with Trees New York. According to Ms Delfico:

We had the perfect day for planting our mini urban orchard of five fruit bearing apple trees.

Sam Bishop Cheryl Blaylock of Trees New York With Friends Plant Fruit Trees

Trees New York selected the apple varieties – including Crimson Gold, King David, Pink Pearl, Red Summer Rambo, and Tolman Sweet – for their unusualness and taste. As dwarf and semi-dwarf varieties, they are easier to pick, reported Blaylock.

This was a wonderful partnership involving Trees New York, Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation, Roosevelt Island Garden Club, Roosevelt Island Girl Scouts (troops 3244 and 3245 sponsored by RI Beacon Youth Program and Brownie and Junior troop 3001 sponsored by Manhattan Park), and iDig2Learn.

Image Of Roosevelt Island Girl Scouts and Trees New York Team

This spring, Trees New York, will return to work with the scouts, leaders from the Roosevelt Island Garden Club, and iDig2Learn to continue the program with lessons on fruit tree maintenance, pollination, and soil science. The FruiTrees program is funded by the Levitt Foundation.

Image Of iDig2Learn, Girl Scouts & Trees New York Roosevelt Island Fruit Tree Team

Stay tuned for a fall apple pie and cider gathering as we watch our trees grow!

Thanks to all who supported this tree stewardship event and came out to volunteer.
Ms Delfico adds:
The Girl Scouts learned that worms are good for Apple Trees,

Image From Aiesha Eleusizov

about composting


and Anthony Longo shows young men pine mulch.

Here's the iDig2Learn press release about November 11 Roosevelt Island Fruit Tree Planting:
Trees New York today provided several types of apple trees to help iDig2Learn continue to build an urban agricultural movement here on Roosevelt Island. The Girl Scouts of Roosevelt Island, leaders from RIOC, and the Roosevelt Island Garden Club also joined to plant the trees, which will help youth learn about plant science and the benefits of urban fruit trees. In addition, the trees will be available for picking by the entire Roosevelt Island community when mature.

“We are looking at future population estimates of nine billion people,” said Christina Delfico, a top ten finalist of TEDxManhattan Changing the Way We Eat and founder of iDig2Learn, an initiative that provides children with hands-on education using plant life. “Solutions to feeding the planet will be vital. Planting fruit bearing trees provides food locally and is a great step towards food justice for our city. If we provide equal access to healthy food, the community will be served for years to come.”

"Trees New York is pleased to partner with iDig2Learn to bring our FruiTrees program to the Girl Scouts of Roosevelt Island,” said Cheryl Blaylock, Director of Youth Programs for Trees New York. "They were enthusiastic participants of our street tree stewardship event last spring. So when we found a location on Roosevelt Island to plant fruit trees, we knew that iDig2Learn, the Girl Scouts, and the Garden Club would be the ideal partners to adopt and take care of them. We look forward to continuing the program with lessons on fruit tree maintenance, pollination, and soil science." The FruiTrees program is funded by the Levitt Foundation.

Trees New York selected the apple varieties – including Crimson Gold, King David, Pink Pearl, Red Summer Rambo, and Tolman Sweet – for their unusualness and taste. As dwarf and semi-dwarf varieties, they are easier to pick, reported Blaylock.

The trees are located between the Roosevelt Island Garden Club and Octagon soccer field. Dr. Ali Schwayri, president of the Tree Board and Roosevelt Island Garden Club, joined Delfico and Blaylock to tour the island for suitable locations in late August. “We are lucky to have some remaining green areas on Roosevelt Island,” Schwayri said. “Fruit trees provide food for body and mind and are a welcome addition to the necklace of cherry trees on Roosevelt Island. I’m glad we’ll be able to put this space to such good use.”

The Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation (RIOC) supported this endeavor, including by helping to scout planting locations. Said RIOC President and CEO, Charlene M. Indelicato, “We like to support community-based projects like this, encourage island groups to partner together, and attract expertise that can be shared with our residents. Teaching young people the value our natural world strengthens our island community.”

Last April, RIOC had removed the iron grates in the tree pits from eleven trees along the sidewalk across from the post office to pave the way for a tree stewardship effort. Trees New York worked with the Girl Scouts to loosen soil, add flowers, and mulch those trees. The Girl Scouts expressed excitement at partnering up again with iDig2Learn to plant the apple trees.

Aiesha Eleusizov and Heather Smith, Girl Scout leaders of Brownie and Junior Troop 3001, sponsored by Manhattan Park, said, "We really look forward to building our knowledge of these fruit trees. Even better, next autumn we’ll be able to taste the fruits of our efforts."

Janine Schaefer, leader of local Girl Scout Troops 3244 and 3245, sponsored by the Roosevelt Island Beacon Youth Program, added, "It's so important for us to come together and make our little corner of the planet better. We know that nature offers us so much, and this is a hands-on example of what we do together that can benefit so many."
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Groups involved in this project include Trees New York, Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation, Roosevelt Island Garden Club, Roosevelt Island Girl Scouts (troops 3244 and 3245 sponsored by RI Beacon Youth Program and Brownie and Junior troop 3001 sponsored by Manhattan Park), and iDig2Learn.

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