Share Fruit Grown in the City
The first harvest of the season is just days away, and it will officially kick off City Fruit’s 2020 harvest season. Over the next several months, the organization will harvest tens of thousands of pounds of fruit grown all over the city, and the majority of it will be donated to local food banks and meal programs.
The harvest season is always an exciting time of the year that brings people together to celebrate the bounty of our fruit trees. But this year, there is also a sense of urgency due to the economic hardship caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Many families and individuals in Seattle are facing food insecurity, and visiting food banks for the first time where demand for fresh, nutritious produce is higher than ever. There is also renewed interest in community gardens and home gardening in order to grow food to help supplement local food supplies. City Fruit puts Seattle’s fruit trees to their best and fullest use by harvesting otherwise unused fruit that is growing in our city, and making sure it is shared with those who need it most rather than letting go to waste.
There are a few ways Seattle residents can participate in the Great Seattle Fruit Harvest:
- Register your trees– those who own fruit trees can register their trees to request City Fruit to harvest their fruit and donate it to a local food bank. To be included in this year’s harvest schedule, they must first register their tree with City Fruit, and then authorize the organization to harvest by July 31st.
- Share the harvest– those who are able to pick their own fruit are encouraged to request U-Pick Harvest Boxes. The U-Pick Harvest Box program is designed to increase the harvest capacity so that more fruit can be donated instead of ending up in compost.
- Become a member– anyone who wishes to support City Fruit’s harvest program is invited to become a member. City Fruit members receive various perks including a share of the Fruit for All CSA that offers an assortment of freshest, hyper-local fruit harvested right here in Seattle.
- Volunteer – there will be some volunteer opportunities in small groups for those who are eager to lend a hand to help harvest fruit in the fall, pending the safety recommendations from the city. Register here to receive updates regarding upcoming volunteer opportunities.
Last year City Fruit harvested 36,636 pounds of fruit including apples, plums, pears, cherries, grapes, figs, quince, persimmons, and kiwis from 17 public orchards and nearly 300 private homes. The majority of it was donated to over 20 community organizations throughout the city. In addition to harvesting fruit, City Fruit works year round to care for fruit trees in public orchards to ensure that they can produce healthy, consumable fruit. This spring City Fruit netted over 80 apple and pear trees to protect them from pest damage.
To learn more about City Fruit and our harvest program please visit www.cityfruit.org.