THE WILLITS NEWS
by Linda Williams
A group of area residents and members of Common Vision planted a small orchard on the grounds of the Willits Integrated Services Center on November 11. Willits was one stop on the Common Vision Fruit Tree Tour in Mendocino County.
The group also planted trees from November 4 to 12 all around Mendocino County, from Round Valley High School and Indian Health Center to Fort Bragg and Ukiah. The group has been travelling up and down California in its buses powered by recycled vegetable oil for the past six years, planting fruit trees in 150 low-income schoolyards and community centers.
Along with planting nearly 4.000 fruit trees, the group gives students hands-on instruction on tree planting techniques while providing reasons to repopulate urban forests and develop a sustainable food supply.
The WISC planting was a last-minute addition to Common Vision's schedule. Ten members of the group arrived at 3 p.m. November 11 in their brightly painted bus. Despite overcast skies, the rain held off and about 20 community members ranging from age 3 to 70-plus years participated in planting the 13 dwarf apple and two dwarf cherry trees. The Emandal Chorale sang, and a trio of Common Vision drummers added festive sounds to the gathering. A potluck meal followed the tree planting.
Mayor Larry Stranske brought his shovel and helped plant the nascent orchard.
Mason Giem of the Willits Action Group estimates the first fruit will be ready for harvest in two to three years.
"I want to thank Sparetime Supply for donating the compost and providing the fencing at cost," says Giem. "Dripworks has also donated the drip irrigation to keep them watered."
Common Vision leaves again in February on its 2010 tour, starting in Southern California.