A group of about 20 volunteers showed up Saturday morning to help Edible Evanston plant 12 new trees at the Eggleston Anniversary Orchard off McCormick Boulevard.

The trees are dormant now, but in about three years they will be providing Evanstonians with plums, apples, and peaches, thanks to a $5,000 grant from the Evanston Community Foundation, according to Tim Sonder and Linda Kruhmin, co-leaders of the group.

Kruhmin and Sonder inspect one of the new plantings.

The orchard, located along the north edge of McCormick Boulevard near Bridge Street and the Evanston Ecology Center, was originally conceived by the Brady Scholars program at Northwestern University, with the first phases planted in the spring of 2013.

Saturday’s planting of four plum trees, four apple trees, and four peach trees was completed just ahead of an early blast of unseasonable winter weather aiming for Evanston next week.

Among the volunteers was Estevan Simpson, a sophomore at Evanston Township High School, who earned community service credits from the school for his role in the planting process.

Sonder and Kruhmin explained that sales of a portion of the fruit grown in the orchard will be used to help the group’s educational outreach to Evanston’s youth and adults concerning the virtues of farming in an urban environment.

The balance of the food, about 450 pounds of produce this year, is distributed to food pantries in the area.  The group also distributed about 300 packets of free seeds to allow more people to grow a variety of produce in their own gardens.

A resident of Evanston since 1975, Chuck Bartling holds a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University and has extensive experience as a reporter and editor for daily newspapers, radio...

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