Orchard City to be celebrated at Community Harvest

On Saturday 22 October, The University of Dundee’s Botanic Garden will host Dundee’s first Community Harvest, celebrating three years of work by Dundee Urban Orchard and their 25 orchard groups. The event will bring together dancers, musicians, storytellers, and civic partners to celebrate Dundee as an Orchard City.

The Community Harvest is an art and horticulture project aiming to raise awareness of food sustainability. Since 2013, the project has worked with community groups and cultural organisations to plant 25 orchards across the city. Locations include schools, community centres, and museums while those leading the project have also organised art workshops exploring biodiversity and cultural diversity in the city.

A culmination of the work undertaken over the past three years, the Community Harvest is the first of what Dundee Urban Orchard hopes will become an annual event. Harvests will take place at the new orchards throughout October and the Botanic Garden event will bring together participants and members of the public for a series of performances, talks and other activities.

Event organiser Jonathan Baxter said, “Our primary focus is to raise awareness of food sustainability and to help communities engage in positive action to that end. The Community Harvest and celebration at Dundee Botanic Garden is a fantastic way to bring everyone together to mark the success of the past few years.

“Many of the orchard groups will be contributing, as will dancers, musicians, storytellers, and even yoga practitioners! Members of the public are welcome to find out more about our work or just join in the fun.

“The Community Harvest and workshops celebrate Dundee as an Orchard City. In addition to the planting of orchards, what’s really being celebrated are the people and projects that support social and environmental well-being in the city.”

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Botanic Garden Curator Alasdair Hood added, “We are excited to be hosting this event and to able to invite people along to celebrate this wonderful project. The Botanic Gardens is a proud partner of the Dundee Urban Orchard project and we look forward to continuing success in future years.”

In addition to the Community Harvest, Dundee Urban Orchard is also hosting a series of free dance, storytelling and dragon making workshops leading up to the event.

Joan Clevillé, one of the dancers running the workshops and making work for the event, said, ‘We are delighted to be part of the Community Harvest event. It is so exciting to share our practice with different groups and individuals in Dundee, from community participants to vocational students. The day will also be an opportunity to reflect on issues that concern us all, and what it means to share our knowledge and resources with each other.’

More information about Dundee Urban Orchard, the Community Harvest and the public workshops can be found at dundeeurbanorchard.net and by liking Dundee Urban Orchard on Facebook.