FT4C Spotlight: Orchard Community Learning Center

At FT4C, we know that gardens grow more than food: they grow community too. And how better to grow strong, healthy, resilient community members than with a garden-based community learning center?

Photograph from The Orchard Community Learning Center website

Today’s spotlight is shining on our partner organization doing just that. Located on 7 acres in South Phoenix, the Orchard Community Learning Center is part working farm and part educational center, providing resources and opportunities for healthier living to community members of all ages.

From The Orchard’s Facebook page:

The Orchard is a meeting place where organizations, schools, and families gather to learn, work, and develop relationships, all of which can empower them to tackle some of the most difficult issues facing our community: obesity, lack of civic voice, and poverty.

The Orchard offers programs focused in three areas: Farm-to-Table, Community Conversations, and STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math).

Photograph from the Orchard Community Learning Center website

The Orchard’s Farm-to-Table programs celebrate fresh, accessible, locally-grown food as a foundation to wellness–and incorporate the entrepreneurial aspect of farming. Farm-to-Table “health ambassadors” are trained in poultry husbandry and gardening; produce and eggs go to farmer’s markets, the Orchard’s community supported agriculture (CSA) program, and other Orchard classes and events.

Community Conversations are aimed at community learning. The Orchard cultivates learning-based social gatherings like movie nights and heritage cooking classes. Community Conversations programs give the community a voice in food and educational justice.

The STEAM program serves children in the Roosevelt School District, offering day camps in the summer and learning projects during the academic year. Recently, Southwest Elementary School 2nd-graders helped harvest the garden.

The Orchard CLC is a true testament to the power of community and food cultivation. We’d love to help the Orchard continue their mission by providing them with fruit trees, and your fruit tree purchase can help! FT4C donates 1 tree for every 3 purchased. Orders must be placed by October 25.

To order fruit trees from FT4C and donate trees to participating organizations like The Orchard CLC, please visit our website.

To learn more about The Orchard Community  Learning Center or get involved, visit their website here and follow them on Facebook.