At this time of year when the days are longest, keep your eyes open for june berries and mulberries, ripe in mid-late june, followed closely by currants, goose-berries, some early plums, then cherries! Many of these trees abound in our common spaces, often planted as ornamentals or street trees.
Andrew, Felix and Noah planting peaches near A2Z, Inc., Rail Trail, Northampton
Along the Rail Trail in Northampton:
More thyme, lemon balm and sage @ 'Frogtown', Maplewood shops
Fruiting mountain ash, Asian pear, quince, rugosa rose, aronia, currants and more to 'Ape-town', n. of M'wood shops, Conz. St.
Hardy orange, choke cherry, aronia and honeyberry near the raised beds, RT Connector
Hazelnuts, quince, chokecherry and Asian pears along trail near Veterans Field
Peaches, american plums, seaberries and more along Rail Trail from Valley Aikido to A2Z, Inc. (along King St.)
And medicinal ground covers to our large planting and berry hedge at the Hampshire Council of Governments, downtown Northampton.
~800 seedlings in the ground, humans and plants alike breathe a collective sigh of relief.
Finally, we got hooked up with some helpful resources @ UMass Amherst - greenhouse space for starting herbs and tree seedlings, as well as 3 long nursery rows at the Agricultural Learning Center (ALC) on North Pleasant St., which now are temporary homes to more than 800 seedlings, busily growing strong and tall, awaiting public plantings - nannyberry, june berries, beach plums, white oaks and more.
Check out the bursting-ly ripe juneberries (aka serviceberries) in front of People's Pint, Greenfield; First Churches, Paradise Copies and Sylvester's Restaurant (Northampton) and the Amherst Graveyard. Help Yourself didn't plant these trees, but they serve as mature models for the generosity and beauty of these native fruit trees.
Now that everything we ordered this year (~1,800 bare root babies) is in the ground (epic!), we can take a breather and look back over the planting season so far, counting our blessings to have started a number of new projects and bolstered existing plantings. Our new plantings include:
Apples, mountain ash and berries @ United Arc Food Pantry, Avenue A, Turners Falls & their related properties
Apple orchard @ Wright Home for Women, Easthampton
Quinces, fruiting roses and beach plums at mechanics along Federal St, Greenfield - Meineke, Cherry Rum and Tire Warehouse!
At public K-12 Schools:
25 swamp white oaks (sweet acorns) @ Four Rivers Charter, Greenfield, and surrounding meadows.
Nannyberry, juneberry, quince and more to PV Chinese Immersion School, Hadley
Replacement apples to Greenfield Center School.
Some of the fruit trees we've put in over the past 3 years are starting to bear fruit! These include, sighted with small fruit coming in for the first time, the Harlson and Gravenstein apples @ Trans' Market in Hadley and the Rail Trail Connector, Northampton, the Chinese hawthorns @ PVCICS, Hadley, the Illinois everbearing mullberries @ the former Northstar Building in Hadley, the honeyberries, currants, elderberries, mulberries and wild plums at Four Rivers Charter School in Greenfield, and last but not least, the Concord grapes along the Rail Trail in Northampton are loaded with small green grapes! Check back in the late summer for a luscious treat!
American wild plum @ ALC
If you've been hoping to connect with the Help Yourself project, either by helping as a tree steward, helping on planting or work days, donating, or planting on your lawn, there's no better time than now! Meanwhile, happy mulberry picking!