Randolph Community Orchard Inc. (RCO) was formed in December 2017 to establish a community oriented orchard and to advocate for tree-based perennial food production.
We are motivated by an understanding that Vermont, while enjoying a more robust and localized food system than most States, is still greatly dependent on distant production and the complex, delicate systems that keep our grocery stores filled. It is our belief that certain social, political, economic, and climatic trends all point to the necessity for localized groups to organize and work through mutual aid for the common good. Chief among those is food production, and we hope to make a proper contribution to the local food system while inspiring and aiding others in establishing their own projects.
At this time, RCO is entirely staffed by a group of highly-motivated volunteers who love the Randolph community. This spring, we will be joined by high school students in Randolph Technical Career Center’s Ag Tech program, who will be involved with grafting, pruning, and soil improvement. The bulk of the trees will start in a nursery in Randolph Center this spring, to be planted at the Exit 4 property in Fall of 2018. Over time, we hope to collaborate with other organizations to host community work days and provide healthy food for our community. Click here if you’re interested in getting involved!
Our fruit plantings will emphasize disease resistant and heirloom apples and pears, hybrid plums, improved saskatoons, and include hardy and experimental strains of peach, apricot, pawpaw, quince, medlar, and mulberry, among others.
Our nut plantings will emphasize American and Chinese chestnuts and crosses, black walnut, butternut, heartnut, hickory, experimental Northern pecan, ginkgo, and hazelnuts.