Community Fruit Harvesting is Spreading

Fascinating the way the same idea can pop up at the same time in different locations. Take community fruit harvesting--when local volunteers harvest the fruit from trees for owners who can't (or can't be bothered) and share the bounty. First sighted in Toronto, Ontario, where a local group, called "not far from the tree" sends out a team of volunteers to pick the fruit. One third of the collection goes to the fruit tree owners, another third goes to the volunteers for their labour, and the final third is distributed (by bicycle or cart) to community organizations in the neighbourhood who can make good use of it. Next noted in Portland, Oregon and called 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 deliver the rest to food banks.

And now in Walthamstow, NE London, England, a group called OrganicLea and fruit picking is called scrumping. They reckon that even in urban areas, one in four detached or semi-detached houses have fruit trees in their garden and much of it goes to waste. Their group of dedicated volunteers has picked (scrumped) 12 tons of local fruit. Householders keep 25% of the fruit collected, while the rest is sold at a market stall or turned into (apple) juice. Over 30 trees were picked from this year. OrganicLea has its own allotment gardens and a weekly stall at a local market where it sells the surplus produce from its allotments; the stall takes 25% and the allotment holder gets 75% of whatever is made. :: Guardian
More on Community Harvesting
:: Backyard Fruit Trees
:: Community Fruit Harvesting
:: National Allotment Gardens Week

Tags: Farmers Markets | Food Miles | Local Food