Growing in a greenspace near you
Dundee Urban Orchard (DUO) is a city-wide art and horticulture project supporting individuals, community groups and cultural organisations to plant and care for small-scale orchards in Dundee.
In addition to the practical benefit of enhancing biodiversity, accessing greenspace for community use, and raising awareness of where food comes from, DUO create art workshops, exhibitions and curated events celebrating the biodiversity and cultural diversity of the city.
With a particular focus on food sustainability, DUO is committed to longterm planning for a sustainable and equitable future in Dundee.
In an urban environment like Dundee it’s easy to lose connection to the food we eat. A large proportion of the food available in Dundee has travelled long distances and is purchased in packaged or processed form from supermarket shelves. Without a connection to the food we eat it’s easy to lose a sense of what sustains us. In turn this can effect our care for one another and the planet.
As Carolyn Steel, an architect and food activist, said at a public lecture organised by DUO in 2017: ‘Food has shaped our bodies, homes, societies, cities, and landscapes in the past; now we need to harness that power for good. We already live in what one might call sitopia (meaning ‘food place’). By recognising that fact, we can think and act through food to create a better, more sustainable world.’
Having spent three years planting orchards in the city since 2013, DUO continue to support the ongoing maintenance and care of the Orchard City network. Where possible we assist in the planting of additional community orchards and gardens and we actively encourage other orchard groups to join the network.
In October 2016 we celebrated Dundee’s first Community Harvest. This was a chance to share the fruits of our labour to date, both literally in terms of apples, pears and plums, and culturally through visual art, storytelling, dance, and song. Over the coming year (2017) DUO will be taking time to reflect on the next stage of the project. We encourage feedback from everyone we’ve worked with and others in the wider region. In the meantime do take a look at our events page and facebook for ways to get involved.
DUO is performed by Jonathan Baxter and Sarah Gittins – artists, peer-educators, and amateur horticulturalists. We’ve worked with over 25 orchard groups and hundreds of active citizens who together constitute the Orchard City network. We think of this network as the roots and fruits of the city and we encourage others to join us in our Orchard City grafting!