Delmore Community Orchard beautifies Noble neighborhood
“This neighborhood used to be an orchard, and I figured it would be a nice way to bring up the community,” said Danialle Benham. Once the site of an abandoned home, the Delmore Community Orchard has become an engaging, beautifully landscaped outdoor space and a peaceful place to visit.
Benham worked with neighbors, including Margaret Lann and Michelle Moehler, to create this green oasis in the Noble Neighborhood. The women brought community volunteers together, including many teens, to layout the orchard site, build raised beds, install plants, and gather funding. Lann orchestrated applications for grant and community funding for supplies, while Moehler designed the orchard’s logo and signage.
Their labors have created a hidden treasure that invites neighbors to enjoy tranquility while sitting in the shade of the trees. The orchard, which opened in September, currently includes six apple trees, four grapevines, three raspberry bushes, and four pawpaw trees.
While many people may not be familiar with the pawpaw, the orchard’s creators thought it important to include it. The pawpaw is Ohio’s only native fruit, and was an important food source for indigenous peoples. Pawpaws are the northernmost member of the mostly tropical custard apple family. The trees bear sweet, edible fruits with a custard-like texture that are high in vitamins, minerals and energy-supplying calories.
Benham and her neighbors have plans to plant cherries, pears, plums, peaches and black raspberries in the spring. The group relies on community funding and volunteers to build raised beds, plant trees and bushes, and maintain the orchard by weeding and watering. “We can always use netting, tools, and shovels, or even someone to water the plants on dry days,” said Benham.
Benham is a master gardener with the Ohio State University Extension Master Gardener Volunteer Program, which provides intensive training in horticulture to interested Ohio residents, who then volunteer their time assisting with educational programs and activities through their local OSU Extension county office.
For more information, or to volunteer, contact Benham at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sydney Chickos is a graduate student at Case Western Reserve University's Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences and a FutureHeights intern.