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Plant Sciences and Entomology


Community orchards could play a valuable role as nature-based solutions to complex challenges we face today. In these unique plantings, a variety of nut- and fruit-producing trees and berry shrubs are often established together on public spaces to provide the community with healthy, fresh food. Interest in these plantings has been increasing in the United States, even more so since the COVID-19 pandemic highlighted vulnerabilities in our food systems. However, the roots of community orchards can be traced back to Indigenous foodways which have persisted for millennia. Then and now, community orchards support an array of functions, positioning them to contribute to solutions to major challenges related to food security, human health, and climate resilience. In this paper, contemporary applications are considered for Indigenous communities in the US that seek to care for their communities and the environment. A case study of the Osage Orchard project in Pawhuska, OK, USA, highlights the value of reconnecting with cultural foods and practices of Osage ancestors, to meet the needs and preferences of a contemporary Indigenous community.

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Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.