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Organizing volunteers to harvest urban fruit trees and share the fruit with the community.
FruitSave is a local gleaning program that organizes volunteers to harvest backyard fruit that would otherwise go to waste. This naturally grown fruit is shared between the homeowner, the pickers, the Valley’s many emergency food providers, and CGC’s programs.
If you are interested in becoming a FruitSave volunteer or if you have a fruit tree that needs picking, please submit your online application today (see green buttons below!).
Why is this project important?
Backyard fruit trees in the Valley offer tonnes of nutritious food every year, but much of it falls to the ground uneaten. Now there is a way to get this fruit to those who need it most and learn how easy it can be to feed ourselves with beautiful, wholesome, Cowichan-grown food! 95% of the food we eat on Vancouver Island is brought in by ferry, often after travelling thousands of kilometres, and yet we have one of the finest climates for growing food in Canada.
Homeowners get their fruit trees picked, and windfall apples gathered for free and are left with 1/3 of the harvest. Not only will their yards be cleaner, but they can also feel satisfied that the fruit from their trees will help many people throughout the community.
Harvesters can enjoy some sunshine and gentle exercise with a friend while picking and then take home 1/3 of the fruit if they wish.
The Community benefits from the donation of fresh, local food. FruitSave supports many organizations, such as:
- Cowichan Valley Basket Society
- Cowichan Independent Living
- Hiiye’yu Lelum – House of Friendship
How can I help?
- Do you have a fruit tree that you’d like harvested? Register as a Tree Owner Fruit Saver here!
- Are you interested in volunteering and harvesting trees of fruit that would otherwise get lost? Register as a Fruit Picker here!
- Donate items like picking poles, ladders, pails, and truck time.
Becoming a Team Lead.
CGC would like to create as many opportunities to harvest fruit as possible. To do so, we need people to lead teams of pickers. Please let us know if you can help! CGC will connect Team Leads with trees in their area and help coordinate each pick.
Here’s what is involved:
- Assess the safety of a tree(s) for picking
- Liaise with the tree owner
- Receive emails from interested pickers, respond to questions, and let them know where the tree is and specifics about the site.
- Pick up ladders from CGC or arrange for another picker to do so
- Promote safety during the pick and while loading fruit into vehicles
- Take some fruit to the region’s emergency food providers or arrange for another picker to do so
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