Backyard Fruit Trees A Barely Tapped Resource For Urban Gleaning


Victory gardens have come back ever bigger - garden magazines and home gardening tools sales are good even in this recessionary economy. The harvest season is almost upon us, and an extension of that urban victory garden idea is to glean the fruit (and nuts) on urban trees that doesn't get picked or used (except by birds and animals) for various reasons - some owners are simply overwhelmed when harvest hits. Gleaning the fruit is also a much better way to get some of the produce to people who can't afford to buy - especially organic - on tight budgets.

Gleaners get to eat their fill
Katy Kolker (shown above) quit her job with the Portland Parks Bureau to work full time with the organization she founded in 2006, the Portland Fruit Tree Project. The project has a database of 140 privately-owned fruit trees, and volunteers are gathered when it's time to pick ripe fruit. They keep what they can eat, and shuttle the rest to food banks.
In 2007, volunteers averaged 300 pounds of fruit with each harvest - 3,400 pounds by the end of the season! Kolker has predicted the 2008 harvest will be even larger. Portland Fruit Tree project is also setting up workshops to show tree owners how to prune and urban gleaners how to can and preserve the bounty. Via ::Portland Fruit Tree Project
Read more in our forum:
Grow Vitamins At Your Kitchen Door
Read more about Victory gardens:
Victory Gardens Come To San Francisco Again
National Allotment Week Celebrates Gardens

Tags: Apples | Gardening | Urban Life