Washington Evening Journal
111 North Marion Avenue
Washington, IA 52353
Fruit growing in the Fairfield Community Orchard is being put to good use.
Last Sunday, a group of volunteers converged on the orchard to pick ripe fruit for the Lord’s Cupboard of Jefferson County, a Fairfield food pantry.
Megan Nelson, chair of the Missions Committee at First United Methodist Church in Fairfield, said that they received a message from Ron Blair with the Fairfield Community Orchard that they had fruit that was ready to be picked.
“They had some interest from the Lord’s Cupboard in being the recipient of that fruit,” Nelson said. “But, the Lord’s Cupboard didn’t have individuals who could go out and pick it.”
She said that the church’s Missions Committee put together a small group of about five volunteers.
Those volunteers included Nelson, Sharon Flinspach, Carrie Steele, Natalie Steele and Max Nelson.
“We went out Sunday afternoon to pick fruit from trees in the orchard that had been marked for us to pick from,” Nelson said. “There were some apples, Asian pears and regular pears.
“We ended up with two five-gallon buckets full of apples and one 20-quart bucket full of pears.”
With more fruit becoming ready to be picked in the coming weeks, Nelson said that the church is already planning to return to the orchard.
“Our church has a food bank subcommittee of the Missions Committee,” she said. “That group is putting together a small group of volunteers to do a second picking in two weeks.”
The Fairfield Community Orchard was planted in 2012 and currently has more than 100 trees.
It is located east of Chatauqua Park along the Fairfield Loop Trail.
Trees on site include apples, mulberries, pears, peaches, plums, persimmons, chestnuts, hazelnuts, walnuts, apricots, aronia bushes, and apriums, which are apricot and plum hybrids.