Funds available to plant community and school orchards, gardens

Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring says $52,500 is available to help North Dakota communities and schools plant orchards and gardens in 2019.

Communities and schools are eligible to apply for grants of $500 to $7,500. The grants are available on a competitive basis.

“A community orchard project is a great hands-on learning tool for students and community members,” Goehring said. “Lessons may include proper planting, watering, pruning, tree care, harvesting, fruit preservation and more.”

Goehring said grant funds can be used for plants, trees, planting supplies, soil amendments, irrigation and fencing supplies, but not permanent structures, the purchase of land or capital expenditures. Grand funds are for new projects and not the continuation of existing projects.

“This is the sixth year of funding for these grants with 57 past recipients,” he added. “The projects really help foster community spirit and bring people together.”

Application forms for the grants are available on the NDDA website at government-affairs-division/localfoods/ community-orchard-project. Grant applications must be received by Jan. 11, 2019.

Goehring said questions about the grant program should be directed to Jamie Good, local foods marketing specialist at (701) 328-2659 or

The North Dakota Community Orchard Project is, funded through the USDA Specialty Crop Block Grant Program.