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The Orchard & Garden

Foxgloves in bloom 

We don’t know much about Woodford’s original orchard. But when the property was sold in 1769, it was advertised in The Pennsylvania Gazette as having “…a handsome Garden, a thriving Orchard of good Apple Trees and other Fruit, and a Well of excellent water. The whole place being under good post and rail and pallisade fence.” 

 

According to architectural historians Mark Reinberger and Elizabeth McClean, the term “handsome” suggests that Woodford had more than a simple kitchen garden, and that the property probably had an “embellished kitchen garden with flowers interspersed with vegetables and the whole laid out in an attractive manner.” 

 

A Neighborhood Green Space

 

In the fall of 2008, the East Park Revitalization Alliance (EPRA), the Philadelphia Orchard Project (POP), the Fairmount Park Commission (FPC) and The Naomi Wood Trust at Woodford joined forces to bring back the orchard at Woodford. 

 

Today’s orchard recalls the historic use of the property but is not a recreation. Today’s orchard, designed by POP, is an “eco-orchard” that is low-maintenance, sustainable and organic, with a diversity of hardy semi-dwarf trees, bushes and perennial herbs and flowers. We invite you to visit and enjoy the garden and orchard in every season.

 

Fair Amount Food Forest

 

In 2017, a grassroots neighborhood coalition met with the caretakers of Woodward to discuss the possibility of creating a food forest in Strawberry Mansion. After years of planning and planting, in 2021 the Fair Amount Food Forest was born, a community-managed, local food source for the residents of the Strawberry Mansion neighborhood. Woodford is a proud participant in this initiative, with numerous plantings just outside the mansion’s south fence. 

 

For more information on the Fair Amount Food Forest, visit https://www.fairamountfoodforest.org.

 

Explore the Orchard & Garden

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