About Our Orchard

When you come to the Real Life Center Orchard in the wintertime, you are met with a serene and peaceful landscape of beautiful trees, vines, and bushes. But during the spring and summer months, the landscape is colored by buzzing volunteers growing, nurturing and harvesting 11 different types of fruits. Lester Bray, a local Master Gardener, helped us get started, and experts from all over the state provided guidance and expertise: Pearson Peach Farms, Ison’s Nursery, Mercier Orchards, Master Gardeners, to name a few! The Orchard became a reality in 2011 with the planting of 135 blackberry vines, 300 blueberry bushes, 35 grape vines, 54 peach trees, 150 semi-dwarf apple trees, 12 pomegranate bushes, 7 plum trees, 7 fig trees, 4 pear trees, and 3 persimmon trees. Over 80 volunteers care for the Orchard. All volunteers are asked to pick a team, such as the blackberry team, so they can become experts in that one particular fruit.

The sole purpose of the Orchard is to provide fresh produce to the families of the Real Life Center, and it is distributed weekly through our Market. Since nutrition is hard to come by on a limited budget, the Orchard and Garden have been huge blessings!


Michael Crozier
Apple Team

James Bellamy
Peach Team

Mike Byrd
Muscadine Team

Wendy Miller
Blackberry Team

Missy Harrison
Blueberry Team

Paula Rutledge
Fig Team

Mike Gumbinger
Mow Team

Cindi Harkins
Host Team

Dan Gilbert
Maintenance Team

Marvin Crisp
Spray Team