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Concrete Jungle to plant 100 muscadines this spring in Atlanta

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Concrete Jungle to plant 100 muscadines this spring in Atlanta

Photo by Maria Lioy

Atlanta, GA — Local urban agriculture nonprofit, Concrete Jungle, is launching a springtime project of planting 100 muscadines around Metro Atlanta, a press release says.

The organization is looking for community groups, organizations, companies, or individuals who would like to adopt them. The muscadine plants will be available for free to anyone who can offer suitable space and upkeep of the plants to support their local community. To apply to receive muscadines for your community, please fill out this form.

Concrete Jungle’s mission is to transform overlooked and underutilized fruit trees and land into a healthy food source for communities in need by: picking fruit trees throughout the region; growing food on our own farm in southwest Atlanta; donating produce to community-based food pantries; and delivering weekly grocery boxes to medically high-risk families. Through these programs, Concrete Jungle has donated 3,669,822 servings of produce to the food insecure residents of Atlanta.

Two organizations have already signed on to plant muscadines on their property and be listed on Concrete Jungle’s Food Map of Atlanta—Frazer Center and Dad’s Garage Theatre. This entire project was inspired by a Concrete Jungle fan, Matthew Terrell, stumbling upon muscadines on the ground while walking through Frazer Center, but no muscadine plants around. Terrell found out the muscadines were killed by an invasive Cherry Laurel plant, which led him to work to find new muscadines for Frazer Center. They plan to use the muscadines for both public access and part of their education program. Dad’s Garage Theatre, located in Southeast Atlanta, has also agreed to plant several muscadines on the edge of their parking lot.

Concrete Jungle hopes to find at least 10-20 community organizations, companies, groups, or individuals that would like to plant these muscadines on their property. Applicants from communities Concrete Jungle serves, including southwest Atlanta are particularly encouraged to apply and will receive priority. The space needed is ideally sunny, strong enough to support a main vine, and wide enough for branches to grow 20’. Each plant will produce up to 40 pounds of fruit annually, after about 2 years of maturation. The spots do not have to be professional farming plots, in fact muscadines grow very well along chain link fences!

Muscadines are a vine fruit similar to grapes that are native to the Southern United States. They are often eaten off the vine or used to make jellies or wine. Some muscadine plants can live for hundreds of years, and are a historic part of the ecosystem of the South. The Georgia Legislature introduced SB 358 last year making muscadines the state grape of Georgia, On Aug. 5, 2020 the bill was signed and as of January 1, 2021 the muscadine is now officially recognized as the state grape.

The 100 muscadines being planted were donated from Gardens Alive/Gurney’s seed and nursery company. The variety is called “Oh My!” and is a new cultivar that is a seedless muscadine. In order to make the muscadine more appealing to modern consumers, these have been bred to no longer have seeds, and have a thinner skin. This provides the convenience of a table grape, but the flavor of a muscadine.

To apply to receive muscadines for your community, please click here to fill out this form.

About the Muscadines:

– These muscadine plants were donated by Gardens Alive to raise awareness of new muscadine breeds available for consumer gardeners. Both varieties donated are seedless and thin skinned, crossbreeds between native muscadines and table grapes. These are meant to be eaten like table grapes.

– ”Oh My!” is a green globe muscadine, very similar in shape and size to wild muscadines.

– ”RazzMaTazz” is a small clustered red muscadine variety, similar in shape and size to currants.

– Both varieties will produce up to 40 pounds of fruit annually.

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