Sunday, January 28, 2007

Houston Goes Fruity

MaGreen, BabyG, and I went to Urban Harvest’s annual fruit tree sale on Saturday, January 20, here in Houston. Within minutes of the 9:30 am opening, people – at least a thousand folks – had cornered almost every tree and vine.

Urban Harvest is a non-profit dedicated to nurturing communities through gardening education. They hold classes, send instructors to schools, maintain a seed library, and disseminate information about how to garden in the Houston area. Their largest event is an annual fruit tree sale. The sale has grown steadily and this year it was moved to a new, more commodious space next to the Emerson Unitarian Church.

The main fruit trees available were those that are ideal for Houston’s climate: oranges, lemons, grapefruit, kumquats, limes, tangerines, persimmons, apples, pears, figs, grapes, blackberries, peaches, nectarines, plums, mulberries, pomegranates, jujubes, blueberries and mulberries. An addition to this year’s sale were more tropical and sub-tropical plants like dwarf mangos, star fruit, Cherry of the Rio Grande, and jaboticaba.

By the time I arrived, just fifteen minutes after the opening, only a few orange and lime trees remained. The mood was civil, but people had a half-crazed look as they guarded their plants. Late comers looked bewildered. The check-out line snaked around the entire lot. The Urban Harvest website says, “Our vision for Houston is a city thriving with a network of gardens and orchards building community health, vitality and pride.” Seeing all those people clutching at their trees made me feel hopeful about this beast of a city. Maybe Urban Harvest’s vision is possible.

Their next sale will not be until January 2008. Check out Urban Harvest’s list of other fruit tree sales around Houston if you live nearby and can’t wait.


Heather Bigley said...

That fruit tree link doesn't work.

MaGreen said...

thanks heather. fixed!

Henitsirk said...

That is so awesome that the demand was so high! Back in Sacramento, the local electricity utility would give away free shade trees, and even come help you figure out where to plant them. Good thinking in the land of 110F summers!

Becky Blanton said...

Hi, I was part of the group that organized the Urban Harvest fruit tree sale. We would like to thank you for your glowing comments on our sale and for the great pictures you posted. We would love to know who you are. Is there a way we can contact you directly?