neighborhood orchard (ongoing, 1993)

neighborhood orchard - Nance Klehm

neighborhood orchard - Nance Klehm

a different way of working

Neighborhood Orchard started when Trevino, who lives three houses down from me, refused to take money for jerry rigging my ancient furnace. Instead he asked me, in exchange for the work he completed, to plant him an apple tree. “Yes! Yes! Yes!” I replied immediately understanding the complexity and depth of what he revealed in terms of a different way of working, one that was more linking and pervasive than the cash economy. As a result of similar exchanges, four years later, Neighborhood Orchard is a loosely organized, scattered 3/4 acres of Little Village yards and one satellite site. Some yards are more intensely planted. Others are less so, as most backyards are multifunctional, used for both recreation and numerous informal economy activities — car repair, food preparation, scrap storage, etc. Medicinal and culinary herbs, vegetables and fruit are exchanged between the participants. Tools and skills are readily shared when called upon.