Archive for the ‘Volunteering’ Category

Jun17

Volunteer Spotlight: Dave Beeman Calls City Fruit His Wellness Plan

UntitledCity Fruit is my wellness plan 

The rewards of volunteering at City Fruit go both ways, reflects Dave Beeman, recipient of the (2014) Gail Savina Outstanding Service Award. Dave describes his volunteer work as highly satisfying: “it feels really good!” Volunteering for City Fruit is not only mentally rewarding, but also the physical activity of being outside in the sunshine, under a plum or pear tree, is the best kind of workout. Who needs a gym? “There’s no better feeling,” Dave says. And the positive feelings go two directions. With great excitement, community members served by City Fruit are known to encircle Dave, reaching into the crate for nutritious fruits even before he reaches the door of Seattle’s Food Banks.

From IT to music teacher to jack of all trades 

Dave is known around Seattle as a classical piano teacher. One of his life’s passions, Dave was able to return to teaching music after a 20-year hiatus working in computer science. Dave’s knowledge of IT and data systems have benefitted City Fruit. In addition to picking and delivering fruit, and doing “whatever Gail tells me,” Dave is the engineer behind City Fruit’s computer systems. Coordinating the harvest across 5 neighborhoods, multiple volunteers and staff, and hundreds of trees bearing a variety of fruits throughout the harvest season can be a complex undertaking. Dave’s IT skills have made this coordination run smoothly. Need to know when the apple season will begin? City Fruit’s records provide answers from previous years’ harvests. Where to send the next crop of plum pickers to harvest and deliver for the neighborhood food bank? Consult the database. Which of our partners want to buy figs? Let’s look that up!

It’s all about relationships 

Seattle is a city of orchards. We have an abundance of fruit, and much of it is REALLY GOOD fruit. Selling figs and up to 10% of other valuable fruit to local business partners has been a way to sustain City Fruit and underwrite the costs of running the organization. These relationships help make a strong organization, and they bring meaning to the volunteers who interface with City Fruit’s partners. Dave delivers sellable fruits to the kitchens of many of Seattle’s favorite chefs, often providing the story of the fruit’s origins and the people who picked it. Over the years, Dave has developed friendships with many of these partners, and his connections have landed him a tasty sweet treat here and there, such as a fig bar from Dahlia Bakery.

Many already know that Dave Beeman is married to founder and former executive director, Gail Savina. Among Dave’s many volunteer responsibilities, perhaps his most important contribution has been to serve as a sounding board and “listening to Gail” through the ins-and-outs of running a great organization. Now that Gail has moved on, she’s still suggesting ways for Dave to help City Fruit. Gail recently told Executive Director, Kate Morrison: “Need help picking fruit? Dave’ll be available.”

For Dave, volunteering for City Fruit is fulfilling. Harvest the unused fruit growing in the city, deliver the nutritious fruit to Seattle’s emergency food distribution, maintain the urban orchard and its database, and build community. “It’s such a wonderful organization, built around a simple concept.”

Interested in getting involved as a City Fruit volunteer? Contact Melanie Peters, City Fruit’s Community Outreach Coordinator.

City Fruit Board Member, Melissa Poe, recently caught up with Dave Beeman, recipient of the 2014 Gail Savina Outstanding Service Award. Above, Melissa tells us about “Dave’s Story” and what has motivated his excellent volunteer service to City Fruit over the years.

Jun08

City Fruit Honors Two Volunteers

On Friday, May 30,photo City Fruit celebrated founder Gail Savina on her last day as executive director.  In honor of her work and dedication to the urban harvest, the City Fruit board of directors created the Gail Savina Award for Outstanding Service.

This award recognizes distinguished individuals who have dedicated their time and energy to help City Fruit grow and prosper. Like Ms. Savina, awardees have made substantial contributions of their time and unique talents, and have a passion for the urban fruit harvest.  The award is given at the discretion of the City Fruit board of directors, when an individual’s contributions warrant such recognition.

The inaugural awards went to long-time City Fruit volunteers and employees: David Beeman, who is responsible for developing and maintaining City Fruit’s IT systems and database, and Tabitha Borchardt, who created the look and feel of everything you see with the City Fruit logo and name, including this website.

Congratulations to our awardees! Look for two upcoming posts on Dave and Tabitha, to learn more about their work with City Fruit!

Jul19

Orchard Stewards Attend Fruit Tree Biology Class

2013-P-Patch-Orchard 103

City Fruit’s Executive Director, Gail Savina, teaches new orchard stewards about fruit tree biology.

What is a branch collar? Where does the scion meet the rootstock? Last Saturday morning, representatives from 9 different urban orchards learned the answers to those questions and more at Fruit Tree Biology class at Bradner Gardens Park.

 
City Fruit director, Gail Savina, explained the parts of a tree and how to select varieties to grow in maritime climates during class. Bradner was the perfect location for applying the knowledge we learned immediately as we examined the compartmentalization, or the sealing off of a wound, and growth structure of an old apple tree. We also learned how to identify where first-year growth ended and new growth started which is important to know when trying to figure out where to prune; some fruit trees produce fruit on older branches while others will produce on new.

 

Most class attendees were new stewards with City Fruit’s urban orchard stewardship program. City Fruit stewards commit to working at an orchard for two years and attending four work parties per year. In return, City Fruit provides free trainings, Fruit Tree Biology being the first of three core classes. Interested in becoming a steward? Click here to find out more information.

 

Interested in learning more about fruit tree biology and general fruit tree care? Check out City Fruit’s online resource page for factsheets, book recommendations, and helpful harvest tips.

By Amanda Lee

2013-P-Patch-Orchard 068

Footies on fruit tree in the Bradner Garden Park