Stage Set for Comeback of Beloved NYC Apple

July 9, 2010 at 4:35 pm Leave a comment

The Newtown Pippin — a small green apple that originated and flourished in Queens in colonial times — is making a comeback in New York City, thanks to an initiative led by a small group of nature lovers, eco-minded entrepreneurs and city government officials.  On April 28, a 40-tree apple orchard of mostly Newtown Pippins was planted at Randall’s Island Park on Randall’s Island, an island in the East River surrounded by East Harlem, the South Bronx and Astoria, Queens.

“The trees are now in full leaf and surrounded by wildflowers,” Erik Baard, one of the leaders behind the Newtown Pippin Restoration and Celebration initiative, wrote in an e-mail message.   The trees are expected to bear fruit by 2015, but won’t produce “huge, heaping loads of fruits until a few years after that,” Baard explained.

Other apple varieties were also planted to serve as pollinators for the Newtown Pippin trees, including Redfree, Egremont Russet, Wagener, Jonathan, and Honeycrisp.  Once the trees mature, the orchard will be open to the public, making it the city’s first public orchard.

Plans are in place to plant an additional 60 trees throughout the five boroughs this year, bringing the total number of trees to 100.  Last year, more than 100 Newtown Pippin saplings were planted in parks, community gardens and urban farms across the city.  The trees count as part of Mayor Bloomberg’s MillionTreesNYC campaign to plant one million trees throughout the city over the next decade.

“By the time we are done,” Baard wrote, “we’ll have planted over 600 Newtown Pippins.”

For more information about the Newtown Pippin Restoration and Celebration initiative, click here.

For a related New York Bounty post, click here.

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Entry filed under: City Farmers, Community Gardens, Local Food Production, Urban Agriculture. Tags: , , , , , .

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