Lucinda Place Community Orchard reflects the burgeoning interest worldwide in community gardening, providing an opportunity for locals to enjoy both the fruits of their labour and build new connections at the same time. The orchard, one of Auckland’s rare community fruit orchards, is located between number 6 and 8 Lucinda Place in Glen Eden on just over 1/3 of a hectare of land nestled beside the banks of the Waikumete Stream.
You can watch former Stream Ranger Tony talk more about the Orchard here.
In 2005 the two properties on the site of the orchard were purchased by Project Twin Streams and the houses were removed as part of the restoration of the Waikumete Stream to restablish the natural flood plain.
Under normal practice, Project Twin Streams would plant such areas with native trees. However, these properties were identified as possible recreational areas, and there were also existing fruit trees on site. This gave rise to the idea of creating a community orchard where the area is left open but planted with fruit trees. The Lucinda Place Community Orchard was born as a partnership between community, Auckland Council and Project Twin Streams Glen Eden.
Tree varieties include plum, apple, peach, feijoa, macadamia, mandarin, lemon, persimmon and a few old trees that existed when the site was residential, including plum, grapefruit and feijoa trees. Most of the newly planted trees have been under-planted with the appropriate companion plants and flowers.
The entire orchard area is looked after without the use of chemical sprays or fertilisers and the grass areas are cut using scythes which provide a quiet, eco friendly and meditative tool to keep the orchard meadow cut.
Lucinda Place Mural
The orchard is graced with a fantastic mural that drew on the artistic talents of around 100 children from across five West Auckland primary schools. The students worked together to create a 12 metre artwork that celebrates the success of the orchard and the sense of community it fosters. Commitment to maintaining the local environment is another key theme in the children’s work.
The fruit trees provided inspiration for the vibrant mural which spells out letters in the shape of fruit, vegetables, plants and animals. The children also wanted massive birds, insects and water creatures on the mural making the point that these creatures live in our natural environment and are thus important.
The orchard is now run by community volunteers to grow food for themselves, the community and for wider food distribution for those in need. All food is grown organically using permaculture and other regenerative gardening practices that support the creation of ecosystems, soil development and plant health.
You don’t need to be an expert to become involved just bring your enthusiasm. If you’re interested in joining the Lucinda Place group please get in touch via the Facebook page.