February 10, 2023 (Jacksonville, Fl) - Eat Your Yard Jax, a nonprofit edible plant nursery, partnered with White Harvest Farms to plant 200 fruit trees in Jacksonville. Volunteers and members of the community are needed to plant the fruit trees over the next 2 weekends. Last month 95 of those fruit trees were planted at the Clara White Mission and at White Harvest Farms. The community tree planting project continues this month on February 11 and 18. Volunteers can sign up to help on Eventbrite.
This agroforestry project was made possible through a grant awarded by the United States Department of Agriculture to help farmers initiate or expand projects in urban areas. White Harvest Farms’ goal is to offer a you-pick grove filled with peach, pear, and plum trees in the Historic Moncrief Creek neighborhood. This will increase the accessibility of fresh produce.
In 2019, the City of Jacksonville commissioned a Food Desert Study for this area and reported that 38 percent of census tracts in Northwest Jacksonville were food deserts, compared to 23 percent for the entire city (Source: The Northwest Jacksonville Food Desert Study Report, March 18, 2019). White Harvest Farms is located in census tracts where 41 percent of residents live below the poverty level. This community tree planting initiative hopes to increase access to fresh, affordable foods in a low-income, low-access area by increasing annual production by at least 1,500 pounds.