The world is approximately 4.5 billion years old. Over the course of time, the Earth has changed. With the advent of technology and the industrial revolution, our world is now a host to high-rise buildings, industries, factories, manmade attractions, and other things that have been created by mankind.
Our population has also ballooned to 7.6 billion. Fortunately, the Earth is rich in natural resources that can provide us for our daily living. But with the changes that are happening in the world, including the natural phenomena, time will come that the Earth cannot suffice our needs.
According to the study by World Wildlife Fund, if human population continue to rise and we continue to consume the natural resources, the Earth can expire by 2050. Or we need another Earth to supply our needs.
As early as today, we must think of sustainable ways on how to take care of the environment so it can continue to provide us with fresh fruits and vegetables, dairy products, meat from animals and many other sources of food.
The good news is that we can actually continue to develop while integrating nature. Let’s start developing an orchard.
What is Orchard?
An orchard is an area that is planted with fruit-bearing trees, shrubs, and other plants to maintain the food production and promote a sustainable community. Basically, an orchard is like a garden, but bigger with lots of trees that can provide us delicious fruits, such as apples, oranges, olives, pomegranates, and citrus fruits.
An orchard can be natural. Any area concentrated with fruit-bearing plants is an orchard. It can also be developed by us, humans. Ideally, orchards should be near bodies of water, like lakes and rivers to supply the trees with an adequate source of water. They can also be in places that typically have good weather conditions.
Now, it is popular in which communities develop orchards in an urban setting. It’s either they re-develop an existing orchard or they intentionally dedicate a space to plant trees and shrubs. Well, this is a good idea and is an effective method to create a sustainable community where we can still go with advancement and modernization.
How Important are Orchards in Urban Setting?
As mentioned earlier, we can still develop and adopt technological advancements without taking our nature and environment for granted. In urban areas where buildings and factories dominate, it is a breather to create a place that will give us the chance to have time with nature. Orchards are perfect to balance the urban setup and lifestyle.
In a study conducted by International Conference of Agricultural Engineering in 2014, they suggested that orchards are essential in urban planning. According to the study, the decrease of green spaces like orchards affect the quality of life of the people. This condition inhibits the development of the people and the city. Thus, it is important to consider orchard in urban planning as orchards promote “sustainability of urban ecosystems.”
What are the benefits of Orchards?
Orchards really play a vital role in our communities. They are nature’s extensions to modernization and industrialization. Orchards provide a lot of benefits to people and communities in various aspects.
Orchards provide a green-setting, a gathering space where people can meet and perform all their daily activities. In urban areas, orchards offer a touch of nature, a breather from the view of cities and buildings. Orchards allow people to interact with each other, do their normal thing while they are with nature. In psychology, ‘green’ space promotes balance and growth, where people can be productive towards the sustainability and the development of their community.
Better Air Quality
Orchards are composed of trees. Trees do not just give shade to the people, but they also promote better air quality. In urban areas, pollution is normal. Cars, industries, residences and factors emit carbon dioxide which contributes to harmful air. Trees combat air pollution by absorbing carbon dioxide which will be used as energy to release oxygen in the air, which is essential for people. They also absorb other pollutant gases such as nitrogen oxides, ammonia, sulfur dioxide and ozone.
Engagement with Nature
Orchards give us the opportunity to get in touch with nature. We can be able to learn about natural processes. The development of orchards allows us to practice farming skills like grafting and pruning which allow us to connect with nature.
When the fruit-bearing trees flourish in the orchards, they can provide us plenty of fruits which serve as our source for the decades to come. Trees are resilient and have special adaptive characteristics that enable them to survive in various conditions. Thus, they require zero to less human input like weeding, watering, growing and pest control.
Food & Nutrition Security
As mentioned earlier, orchards promote sustainability. Because it is natural, they provide us with food that is rich in nutrients, minerals, and vitamins. Fruits are the perfect sources of all essentials needed in our immune system.
Part of urbanization, forests and lands are replaced with buildings, roads, and establishments. Thus, the soil lack nutrients. Through orchards, the soil can be able to regenerate to become productive and fertile in producing more
An orchard is the offspring of nature. It maintains the equilibrium in the environment. According to International Conference of Agricultural Engineering, orchards reduce pollution, produce oxygen, take up carbon dioxide, provide habitat for wildlife, reduce soil erosion and hold water, among others. By developing orchards, we are taking an active part in environmental preservation.
Building an orchard is indeed the solution to the negative effects of industrialization and modernization. With orchards, we can be able to support the environment to continue to exist. This is our contribution to the conservation and preservation of wildlife and biodiversity. We are not just helping the nature, but we are helping ourselves too. Orchards help us obtain a sustainable environment that will be a perfect place for us and for all generations to come.