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Putting Waste to Taste: Fruit Tree Projects

May 3, 2011

I see those apples, cherries, figs, apricots & berries in some of your yards. They’re just starting to bloom spring flowers & soon enough they’ll be ready to eat.

If you are like many home-owners, you may feel over-whelmed with other tasks this summer and gardening may not be a priority. You may not be able to afford a landscaping team but you don’t want that fruit to go to waste.

So what can you do with those edibles?

Well, in Victoria, LifeCycles Project,  in Richmond Hill, The Richmond Fruit Tree Project and in Toronto, not far from the tree, will take care of your fruit for you.

These initiatives are grown from the same idea; People need good food to restart their lives. Each initiative has their own set of volunteers ready to pick your fruit, which will then be donated to local food banks. These projects, although very similar, each have separate projects to make them even more viable to the urban landscape.

LifeCycles Project has been able to network with several Victoria businesses to fund the tree pick program. Sea Cider, an organic cider house in North Saanich offers “King & Spies” cider; a cider made exclusively with LifeCycles apples. All profit is returned to further the development of the fruit tree project.

Lifecycles also offers a series of inexpensive food-security courses, such as verma-composting & rainwater harvesting, along with a school garden program and a backyard sharing service (which connects urban farmers with home-owners).

The Richmond Fruit Tree Project operates ‘Terra Nova Sharing Farm’, an educational facility that donates their harvest to Vancouver/Richmond Hill food banks and other charitable services. And also the ‘Apple Tree Orchard’ that operates with help from the Richmond Farm School.

not far from the tree, splits the fruit amongst home-owners, volunteers and 25 Toronto shelters & food banks. And with the phenomenal 19,695lbs. of fruit picked in 2010 I’m sure many Toronto residents were well fed.

If you live in a city that doesn’t have a project already started, visit your local community garden or farmer’s market. You may meet someone who would be interested in starting something like this up or they may be interested in volunteering their time to pick your tree.

And if you have the time, local food banks would be more than happy to accept bushels of fruit.  Just think of the low-income family who would be able to put your excess fruit to use.

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