City or­chard

Ap­ple and pear trees be­ing planted in Char­lot­te­town.

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - FRONT PAGE - BY MAU­REEN COUL­TER

Sis­ter Joan MacNeill is re­ally ex­cited that an or­chard will once again be in her backyard.

When MacNeill was a young girl, her fam­ily had an ap­ple or­chard in New An­nan.

“All the lit­tle farms years ago, ev­ery­body was brought up to look af­ter things,” said MacNeill. “We were al­ways con­scious of (the en­vi­ron­ment).”

MacNeill has been liv­ing at The Mount Con­tin­u­ing Care Com­mu­nity in Char­lot­te­town for the last eight years, but she says she has not lost her pas­sion for the land.

That’s why MacNeill was pleased to hear Cana­dian Nec­tar Prod­ucts is plant­ing a five-acre or­chard right be­hind The Mount, of­fer­ing 4,500 ap­ple and pear trees.

Though most of the pro­duce will be ex­ported over­seas, the res­i­dents at The Mount will be able to sam­ple the fruit once the trees pro­duce.

“It’s a great use for the field,” said MacNeill.

“We are look­ing for­ward to this.”

Lind­say Dick­ieson, ad­min­is­tra­tor at The Mount said the land was once used as farm­land, so this or­chard will pre­serve some of the history at the fa­cil­ity.

“The land hasn’t been turned in many years,” said Dick­ieson. “We think it’s won­der­ful.”

MacNeill said the field at The Mount has never seen pes­ti­cides.

“The soil is com­pletely or­ganic,” she said.

Amar­jeet Singh Jatana, pres­i­dent and CEO of Cana­dian Nec­tar Prod­ucts, said they won’t be us­ing any heavy chem­i­cals at this site.

“We know it is in the heart of the town ... We are try­ing to grow as much as chem­i­cal free as we can,” said Jatana.

“What our aim is to do some­thing en­vi­ron­ment­friendly with less op­pres­sion on re­sources.”

Jatana said he feels this or­chard will di­ver­sify the city of Char­lot­te­town.

“Peo­ple will like to see how suc­cess­ful this is and if the trees are suc­cess­ful,” he said.

“The Is­land is a very nice place and we can do a lot more with hor­ti­cul­ture,” he said.

GUARDIAN PHOTO

Sis­ter Joan MacNeill and Dr. Amar­jeet Singh Jatana pre­pare to plant ap­ple trees at The Mount Con­tin­u­ing Care Com­mu­nity in Char­lot­te­town.

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