NEIGHBORHOOD PERENNIALS PROJECT
The Neighborhood Perennials Project (NPP) supplies free (1) fruit trees (2) nut trees, (3) berry bushes, (4) perennial vegetable plants, and (5) pollinator-friendly perennial flowers for planting throughout Berea on private, public and institutional properties. We provide plants that are suited to Berea’s conditions and sourced from local and regional nurseries when possible. Most importantly, we provide training and ongoing support to project participants. Workshops, training sessions, and on-going mentoring of tree recipients are designed to create a "tree literate" citizenry that provides on-going care to trees, makes use of the fruits and nuts, and supports additional plantings of edible trees.
Abundant fruit trees and other perennial food-bearing plants will make Berea more food-secure, healthier, and beautiful. Bringing people together around the growing and harvesting of these plants will make our community stronger. Small community orchards, edible street trees, and front- and backyards with perennial vegetables and flower beds make food production a part of the neighborhood and complement Berea’s many annual vegetable gardens.
If you are interested in growing perennial foods on your property or on an institutional or public property that you are involved with:
1. Provide us with your contact information below.
2. Read our Project Guidelines.
3. Browse our Suggested Plants List. This is our basic list of plants that will potentially be available to project participants, all of which are perennial foods/flowers that are proven to grow well in Berea. Start to think about what perennial foods you enjoy eating and where on your property you could grow them. If you need help getting started, see our example mini-orchard design that could fit in an average backyard.
4. Email the project coordinator, Sarah Barney, at email@example.com and let us know of your interest. Briefly describe the plants you might be interested in and anything else you think it is important for us to know about your planting site. Sarah will get back to you and schedule a time for a site visit, if necessary. If you are an experienced grower, let us know.
5. Sarah will visit your site this summer and together, we will discuss and finalize the plants you want and their planting locations. At this time, you must pay a $10 registration fee to be enrolled in the program. After this, all plants and materials are free.
6. Keep an eye on our Events Page for opportunities to learn more about perennial agriculture in general, as well as technical information that will help you care for your new plants. We hope you will be able to attend at least one workshop, to better prepare yourself for selecting the plants that are most appropriate to your location and lifestyle.
7. Most perennial plants do best when planted while they are dormant (i.e. not growing). All trees and planting materials (stakes, mulch, etc.) will be made available in November 2019 for pickup or delivery at the Berea Urban Farm. If you need assistance in planting your new trees, we will help you at this time. Perennial flowers will be made available in the spring – see the Events Page for more details.
8. Importantly – to understand the effectiveness of this project and to continue our work in selecting the plants that are best adapted to Berea, we need to hear back from you! The project coordinator will email you with a reminder to let us know how your plants are doing 1 week, 1 month and 6 months after planting. This will allow us to offer you more free plants in the future!