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Common Vision’s Fruit Tree Tour – Come Plant Fruit Orchards in Public Schools! (13-29 Sept., 2013, California, USA)

Common Vision implements innovative strategies in sustainability with diverse communities and schools throughout California. Focusing on fruit trees, local agriculture, renewable energy, and community engagement, Common Vision uses inspirational education to create a healthier and more just society.

Common Vision’s Emmy Award-winning Fruit Tree Tour, now in its 10th year, has inspired and empowered more than 100,000 California public school students to plant more than 5,000 fruit trees. The all-volunteer army of modern-day Johnny Appleseeds has collaborated with community groups throughout the state to transform over 200 public schoolyards and community centers from barren urbanscapes into abundant orchards, leaving a lasting legacy of free, fresh food for generations to come.

Common Vision is heading to Santa Cruz, Watsonville, Richmond, and Sacramento to inspire kids, plant trees, and support schools with exisiting orchards between 13-29 September, 2013. We are looking for dedicated and talented crew members to staff this tour. Get on the Bus! Room, board, and extensive training is provided.

Planting trees is just the beginning. Common Vision is dedicated to seeing planted trees grow into mature abundant orchards. Crew members will be trained in fruit tree planting, tree care, and effective education strategies. Most school programs will include:

Mulch: Our crew will put down a 6" deep layer of mulch (wood chips) throughout the orchard. Mulch inhibits weed growth, slows water evaporation, and breaks down over time to provide food for the trees. We affectionately call this “MULCH MANIA."

Compost & Microlife: The crew finishes the day by inoculating the soil with compost, worm castings, kelp, and other goodies that add billions of micro organisms into the soil ecosystem which collude for optimal tree growth.

Drip Irrigation: We install an automated Netafim drip irrigation system to assure the trees get just the water they need through the hot California summer.

Pruning: You will learn the basics of pruning and and will help shape and prune the trees for optimal health, production, and ease-of-harvest.

Planting More Trees: Even at existing orchards, we often find that some trees need to get replaced or added to round out the orchard. Often the reason that a pear or apple tree isn’t producing is that the pollinator tree didn’t survive! We work with students to plant additional trees.

Curriculum: We provide training for science teachers to run standards-based curriculum right in the orchard while engaging the students in caring for the trees. We currently have a unit for 4th grade science and one for 2nd grade science, with more under development.

Arts based Education: You will have the opportunity to lead arts groups with kids leaving colorfully painted signs with each tree in the orchard.

Policy on Diversity: It is Common Vision’s policy that all Fruit Tree Tour crew members, individually and collectively, demonstrate maximum respect in attitude and actions to all people of the many culturally and racially diverse communities visited during the tour. Common Vision is committed to cultivating a living and working environment that intentionally seeks to promote the coexistence of people of diverse background and identity based on mutual respect and integrity. Common Vision requires that the Fruit Tree Tour living and working environments on tour are free from discrimination on the basis of race, class, ethnicity, religion, gender or sexual orientation. We expect all crew members to actively support this policy.

Find out more about this volunteer opportunity here!

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