Keep Jackson Beautiful uses new method for planting fruits in community orchard

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JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) — Keep Jackson Beautiful is using a new method for planting fruits and vegetables for the West Jackson community.

Volunteers went to work at the Rosemont Community Orchard.

“Kiwis, pomegranates, loquats, different kind of citrus.”

Those are just some of the items being planted in the orchard, located on Officer Thomas Catchings Sr. Drive

“We’re starting the second phase of our community orchard program here at Rosemont Baptist Church,” said Alicia Crudup, executive director of Keep Jackson Beautiful.

Keep Jackson Beautiful took on the project back in April. Now the group has funding to be able to expand the orchard.

They’re using an Australian Planting Method called permaculture, which requires less maintenance than a regular garden.

“You have to weed it. You have to water it and plant stuff,” she said. “But with permaculture it feeds off nature, it mimics what nature already does.”

Swells are dug into the ground, and foods are planted, and foods are planted on a mound next to them.

“The rain will go in a ditch,” Gabe Porter said, of Keep Jackson Beautiful. “All the dirt is mounted on the outside, and the water will percolate into the soil– creating an underground reservoir for the fruit tree or whatever is planted on the mound. That way you don’t have to water so much.”

Local farmers and organizations assisted with Friday’s event. Students from Lake Elementary will work in the orchard throughout the year to learn more about farming.

“They’re learning about the importance of environmental quality,” said LaKeisha Sutton, Lake Elementary Principal “They’re learning about the importance of a clean water supply as well as getting hands-on experience on how to garden and plant their own food.”
With the area being a food desert, families will have access to fresh produce when the orchard is complete.

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