Profile: Buncombe Fruit & Nut Club

Downtown Asheville boasts one of the oldest public fruit forests in the world. For this reason, the Buncombe Fruit and Nut Club started in 2008 to care for The George Washington Carver Park, an edible park about an acre in size that contains 40 different varieties of edible fruits and nuts.

BFNC is a place where people get together to share a common passion — the sheer joy of fruits and nuts and each others’ company. Our members have been stewarding the creation of edible parks since 2003 and the club has facilitated the creation of four edible parks in Buncombe County. We now care for five edible parks around town.

We direct our passion towards public service without the bureaucracy of a formal organization. We call ourselves a “leaderful disorganization.” There is no president, but rather a loose conglomerate of individuals who come together and lead separate initiatives that serve the public good. If the club is made of “loose bolts” it can change and grow and always be relevant to the present needs of the community and its participants.

We learn about cultivating fruit trees, support the idea of public access to food, have a blast and — more importantly — cultivate civic leaders. We assist school programs with fruit trees grown in conjunction with their garden programs. The four elements of our club — fun, education, community building and maintenance — overlap and complement each other.

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