Fruit Trail Offers Fruit, Food, Medicinal Plants Along Fairfield Hills Walkway
Three years later and still growing, the Newtown Fruit Trail started by Andrew Mangold saw its annual spring maintenance on Saturday, May 4. Pulling weeds and clearing beds with him that day were volunteers who also helped plant shrubs, fruit trees, and berry bushes that he started in his nursery, World Repair, in Massachusetts. Andrew is originally from Newtown.
“We’re putting in work to make the trail as beautiful as it can be,” Andrew said. He hopes to encourage much of the native or beneficial species along the trail in Fairfield Hills in order to “do what our planet needs from us,” he said.
Newtown’s Fruit Trail takes up either side of a stretch of walkway going around a bend between the ambulance garage and the Victory Garden near the intersection of Wasserman Way and Mile Hill South.
All the plants “grow easily” together, Andrew said, to produce a fruit, nut, or medicine; offer the most impact; and produce food for people, he said. He had plants available on Saturday both for the trail and for sale.
Some of the “exciting flowering berry,” plants and a plum produce a “delicious smell,” he said.
The fruit trail, meant to produce a bounty to be enjoyed and picked by the public walking through Fairfield Hills, is maintained each season by volunteers.
With Andrew this past weekend were John and Ben Mangold, and Andrew’s father, William Mangold, among others. Included in their variety of plants were hazelnut, service berry, elderberry, butternut, snowberry, and a few non-native plants that “serve helpful roles,” that Andrew felt it was “appropriate to integrate.”
William Mangold noted the bush cherries growing along the trail that are “doing great and have a lot of fruit.”
Strawberries also have a presence on the trail, as well as ground cover. Looking at other plants, Andrew noted, “It’s full of buds; that means fruit soon.”
Offering an overall philosophy to his garden, Andrew said, “It’s time to restore the earth. We’re doing what we can here.”
Andrew, along with Newtown Parks and Recreation Department, spent time over the weekend to “wake up” the fruit trail for the year. Learn more about the trail through the recreation department page at newtown-ct.gov.
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