BISMARCK, N.D. (KXNET) — KX News spoke with Burleigh County’s Nutrition Services Program Coordinator, Katie Johnke, to discuss the local community orchard.

The Bismarck Community Orchard was initially planted in 2015 with support from the North Dakota Department of Agriculture and Bismarck Parks and Recreation. 

Now, the park provides peace, nutrition, and community.

The city of Bismarck says this orchard increases the public’s access to healthy, organic fruit – especially for those who cannot afford healthy, fresh food.

Orchards also teach young people where their food comes from, and they show us which foods in our local orchard have great health benefits.      

“So actually, if you’ve heard of the saying, ‘Maybe an apple a day keeps the doctor away.’ Apples are a great choice for fruit. They have fiber, and actually, polyphenols that have been shown to improve heart health. So there’s certain nutrients in apples, and then the Aronia berries that are actually in season right now also have antioxidant properties that are beneficial to heart health.” said Katie Johnke.

She says the orchard also provides fresh produce for the Hunger Free ND Garden Program.

For more information, you can visit www.bisparks.org/parks-trails/community-orchard/.