The Open Orchard Project
The Open Orchard documents and expands upon Sam Van Aken’s public art and horticultural project known on Governors Island in New York City. This unprecedented project will take the form of a public orchard of 50 hybridized fruit trees containing hundreds of rare, heirloom varieties of peaches, plums, apricots, nectarines, cherries, and apples. These varieties were grown in and around New York City over the last 500 years but have since all but disappeared due to the impacts of climate change and the industrialization of agriculture. While the orchard itself will exist on Governors Island, up to 200 additional, multi-fruit trees will be planted in community gardens across New York City, placing these antique and heirloom varieties back into the neighborhoods where they once grew. The Open Orchard will profile the 50 trees, sharing information on their history, how they were grown, how they were hybridized, how to harvest them, and how to grow them at home.