Posts Tagged ‘harvest’

Jun25

Harvest is here!

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The first piece of fruit picked in 2015!

After a 239 day hiatus, the harvest has officially begun! Our first harvest this year came 12 days earlier than our first harvest last year and resulted in 30 pounds of delicious Bing Cherries donated to the El Centro Food Bank (I do have to admit, I couldn’t resist treating myself to a few as well.) Since that first donation on June 15th, we have harvested more cherries, transparent apples, and even some red plums! The warm weather didn’t give us much time to ease into harvest season which is ok by me as I’ve been antsy to get back out and celebrate the diverse and bountiful urban orchard we have in Seattle from the vantage point of my orchard ladder.

If you have not yet authorized your tree for the 2015 City Fruit harvest, please do so early so we can properly plan and prepare. Feel free to email me to opt-in or with any questions at [email protected]

Happy Summer!

Luke

 

 

 

Jun19

Happy National Pollinator Week!

During National Pollinator Week, we wanted to reflect on and celebrate the insects that make City Fruit’s annual harvest possible!

OCopy of Honey 1 horizne out of every three bites we eat (including fruit from fruit trees) is courtesy of a pollinator, i.e. bees, wasps, moths, flies, and bats. While there are many different pollinators that contribute to pollination, honey bees are crucial to the pollination of our fruits and vegetables, and are regarded as one of the most critical links in the United States agricultural system.

In the past 10 years, honey bees in particular have been threatened. First reported in 2006, “Colony Collapse Disorder”, referring to the large scale loss of honey bee colonies, has raised alarm about threats to honey bee health and the potential for their widespread disappearance – from 2006-2011, United States beekeepers experienced an average total loss of 33% every year.

Although these numbers are significant, there is reason to celebrate as both local and national policies are starting to take action to protect pollinators this spring. Last month on May 18th, the Seattle City Council voted unanimously to become the 8th certified Bee City USA in the nation! By becoming a Bee City, Seattle will now adopt a set of standards to create sustainable pollinator habitats. A day later on May 19th, the White House released the historic National Strategy to Promote the Health of Honey Bees and Other Pollinators, outlining a set of goals to curb the loss of honey bees and other important pollinator species like monarch butterflies, as well as restore pollinator habitats.

These policies mark important milestones in protecting pollinators and the food we cultivate along with them. City Fruit couldn’t harvest urban fruit and share the bounty with neighbors and friends without the work of pollinators – as we turn towards harvest season, this Pollinator Week we celebrate the entirety of the growing process – from seed to flower to fruit to table.

 

We’d love to get you engaged in the City Fruit family! Check out upcoming events, become an ambassador to manage the fruit trees in your neighborhood and get your community involved, sign up to volunteer, or become a member to support City Fruit monthly or annually.

 

Jan26

Grateful for a day of service and a ton of hard work!

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Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is: what are you doing for others?”

It was one week ago today that we hosted a large event for Martin Luther King Jr Day. We are so excited to share the success of our MLK day of service–it was one of our most successful volunteer work parties yet! As our City Fruit team planned the special work project for MLK Day this year, we kept in mind our main goal of expanding the amount of work that we can do, caring for as many fruit trees as we can, and ultimately bringing the fruit back to our community during the harvest season.

We were buzzing with excitement at the opportunity to host two active community groups, the UW Husky Leadership Initiative and Projectline Inc. Each of these groups has created positive change within their organization and their enthusiasm was easy to recognize!

As volunteers came rolling into the orchard, we divided into groups, grabbed some tools, and conquered a couple of big projects. The Amy Yee Tennis Center Orchard has over 30 fruit trees with significant history to the South Seattle area. With over 75 volunteers with a combined 269 volunteer hours logged, our groups enthusiastically got to work clearing thorny blackberries, scotch broom, and other invasive weeds out from the base of the fruit trees. We were especially impressed with the efforts of our young stewards of the day who picked up fallen apples and planted young fruit trees in the newly cleared space!

The Amy Yee Tennis Center is now looking better than ever and we are excited for the prospects of this orchard for the 2015 harvest season. Thank you to everyone who came out and helped make this event a success for City Fruit. This was truly an inspiring group of volunteers and we are excited for the continued success of our future work parties!

 

 

Jan15

New Year’s Resolutions

Happy New Year! As we kick off 2015 here at City Fruit, we’d like to share a few of our New Year’s resolutions. You won’t find any related to getting more exercise or reading more non-fiction literature (though those are perfectly adequate resolutions). We fruitheads are all about the produce!

Without further ado…

“I resolve to remember my public health roots and invest energy in the larger system and policy changes necessary to ensure access to healthy food for all.”  Kate Morrison

“I resolve to pick my plums before the neighbor gets them, and to make a boysenberry pie from my plants instead of just snacking on them.” — Hazel Singer, CF board member

“I resolve to learn more about the varieties and histories of the fruit that grows in Seattle. Oh, and learn to do the juggling trick where you take a bit out of apples while you juggle them.” — Luke Jesperson

“I resolve to do ten successful fruit tree grafts this year. When eating a fresh apple, I resolve to eat everything but the stem, just as I have since I was a kid. I resolve to try two new pie crust recipes and venture beyond my Betty Crocker basic recipe.” — Barb Burrill

“I resolve to open bananas from the bottom (the right way, supposedly) and to eat kiwis with the skin on.” — Natalie Place

“I resolve to perfect the art of blackberry pie making and to learn how to make lemon meringue pie using the lemons from my family’s Meyer lemon tree!” — Elan Ebeling

“I resolve to personally harvest all of the fruit from the neglected Asian pear tree at the end of my street. No perfectly good fruit will go to waste!” — Brian Mickelson

We hope to accomplish a lot this year, and with your help, we can!

Dec02

#GivingTuesday: Why I Harvest for City Fruit

GT3I support City Fruit wholeheartedly because they utilize food that would otherwise go to waste and share it with those who are less fortunate. City Fruit brings neighborhoods and communities together, emphasizing proper tree care, food justice, and civic engagement. Our supporters generously donate funds, volunteer hours, and even the fruit they grow on their own property.

For me, working with City Fruit is an opportunity to give back to the city that has given me so much and shaped the man I am today. It’s incredibly rewarding to be able to harvest local fruit, donate it to the nearest food bank/youth program/senior center, and give a person in need the bounty of freshly-picked fruit. Many food banks can only offer processed food, so every bit of fresh produce we at City Fruit can give makes a difference not just in the amount of food a person has access to, but also the nutritional value of that food.

The majority of fruit we harvest comes from the yards of generous tree owners. To maximize our 2015 harvest, we need more of Seattle’s tree owners involved, both through fruit donations and monetary support. On this #GivingTuesday, I am calling on all fruit tree owners to donate what you can to the 2015 harvest, and, if you haven’t already, register your tree(s) for gleaning by e-mailing [email protected]!

Thank you for supporting our organization. I hope to see you out there in the trees!

Dusty Towler is City Fruit’s West Seattle harvester.  He just completed his third season with the organization.

Dec02

#GivingTuesday: Why I Give to City Fruit

On this #GivingTuesday, there are so many worthy causes and organizations to support. So why choose City Fruit?

As a board member for the past three years, here are my reasons:

  • A little goes a long way. Did you know that even a $10 donation provides a week’s worth a fruit to a family of four? And $50 can feed a family for the entire harvest season!
  • Hunger relief is needed now more than ever. A recent Feeding America study reported that 1 in 7 King County residents lack regular access to adequate food. City Fruit helps provide these individuals with healthy produce they couldn’t otherwise afford.
  • Make a difference for your entire community. City Fruit’s work doesn’t stop at the end of harvest season. In addition to classes and online resources, we host work parties year-round, making Seattle’s public orchards safer and healthier for everyone.

Our 2014 harvest saved nearly 28,000 pounds of fresh, local fruit from waste and put it to its best use: feeding people! City Fruit has the will and skill to harvest even more fruit next year, but we can’t do it without your help.

This #GivingTuesday, please donate to City Fruit at whatever level you can give. Together, we can make a huge impact!

Kristen Ramer Liang is a City Fruit Board Member.

Nov20

Getting Started with Mason Bees

mason-bee-house-1In just two hours of your time each year, you can significantly increase the amount of fruit your trees produce. And you’ll have fun doing it. Just add gentle-natured mason bees for amazing pollination. This native bee out-pollinates her honey bee cousin by about 100:1, due to her messy pollen gathering techniques. She is a friendly garden companion that doesn’t mind people observing her activities. While there no honey produced, you’ll get healthy spring fruit and nut yields.

Mason bees are alive in spring when your fruit trees are in bloom. After the females have gathered pollen and laid their eggs for 4-6 weeks, they expire early June. While they’re alive, they use holes in your yard to nest and lay cocoons. These are your bees for next season!

In fall you “harvest” the cocoons from the holes where they nested earlier. The bee larva have grown into bees encased in cocoons and will safely overwinter in your refrigerator. This allows you to be in control of when you want to pollinate your yard. Do you need your cherry tree pollinated? Pull some bees out of hibernation in late March. Pollinate your apple tree? You’re removing them in April. It’s easy!

For the holidays, Crown Bees is offering a ten percent discount on Bee Starter Kits to City Fruit members! Email [email protected] for the discount code.

This guest post is made possible by Crown Bees, a local business dedicated to keeping food on the table and in our stores with mason bee pollination. Bees pollinate 1/3 of our food supply, which relies primarily on the troubled honey bee. The company promotes raising mason bees and educating backyard gardeners and farmers nationwide about this gentle-natured, efficient pollinator. It’s an easy way we can all help protect our food supply, one garden at a time.

 

Nov07

Oh What a Night

When thinking about last night I just keep humming the brief refrain “Oh what a night”. The rest of the Four Season’s song doesn’t really apply but, ciderglassoh what a night. 250 (Two. Hundred. Fifty) City Fruit members, supporters, and cider fans came out to the Palace Ballroom in Downtown Seattle for City Fruit’s 4th Annual Cider Taste.

Mind. Blown.

While there folks sampled some amazing ciders from Schilling Cider, Seattle Cider Company, Dragon’s Head Cider, Finnriver, Nashi Orchards, Whitewood Cider, Alpenfire Cider, Snowdrift Cider Company, and Tieton Cider Works and snacked on small bites courtesy of Tom Douglas Restaurants. Everyone who attended also received a small souvenir glass courtesy of Capitol Cider.

shroom1In addition to the cider tastes, attendees were able to shop our marketplace and buy products from local companies, such as Glassybaby and Ballard Bee Company, and meet the authors of the books “Shroom“, “Good Fish“, and “Food Grown Right, In Your Backyard“.

Seeing the Palace Ballroom packed with people was the perfect way to celebrate the end of our record breaking 2014 harvest and kick off our fundraising and planning for 2015. This year we expanded to two new neighborhoods (Ballard and Wallingford) and harvested an incredible 25,000+ pounds of fruit (that’s almost 13 tons or more than the weight of two Asian elephants) that went to social organizations who helped put that fruit into the hands of those in need.

To say last night was our most cider2asuccessful Cider Taste to date would be an understatement. Not just in terms of attendance (did I mention 250 people were there?) and the number of cideries but also in the amount of money we were able to raise. Thanks to the generosity of those in attendance and sponsors like GLY Construction we raised $17,500, which goes a long way towards helping fund our 2015 harvest.

Last night was just AWESOME. It really inspired all of us to keep moving forward with the work we’re doing and we’re already starting to think about next year’s event (yes, we heard you, we’ll have more food). Everything we do, whether it’s this event or our harvest or our classes or any of our other programs, is possible because of your support so THANK YOU for cider1bcoming out and showing us you believe in what we’re doing. I know it can be a little bit of a cliché but it’s very true when I say we wouldn’t be here without all of you.

If you weren’t able to join us at the Cider Taste last night and would like to show your support for the 2015 harvest, you can make a donation here. Every dollar helps in fulfilling our mission to harvest the unused fruit growing in Seattle and to use it to help feed those who would otherwise not have access to high quality, fresh fruit.

Thank you again for your support of City Fruit, not just last night but over these many months and years. Here’s to 2015 being an even bigger year. Let’s harvest another elephant!

Whether or not you could attend you can relive (or experience) the evening via pictures and posts on social media.

Support City Fruit’s 2015 harvest with an online gift at http://www.cityfruit.org/join.

Larry Liang is president of City Fruit’s board of directors. 

Oct28

Wrapping Up the Harvest Season with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Puget Sound

Two weekends ago, we closed out our largest harvest season to date with a Harvest Celebration and Cider Press event at Amy Yee Tennis Center with City Councilmembers Sally Clark and Tom Rasmussen, City Fruit staff and board, and over 30 hardworking volunteers — many from Big Brothers Big Sisters of Puget Sound. To top off the event, we unveiled a new sign at Amy Yee that describes the orchard and its history and provides a map with all of the fruit trees. The sign was made possible by funding from the Washington Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

In case you haven’t heard via our newsletter or social media outlets, this year we harvested over 28,000 pounds of fruit that would have otherwise fallen to the ground to rot. Since 1 in 5 children in the greater Seattle area go to bed hungry every night, we must not waste free and available resources. City Fruit’s work is helping to solve a piece of the food insecurity problem so many in our community face every day.

With 35 fruit trees, Amy Yee Tennis Center is one of many historic orchards found in Seattle’s ever-expanding urban landscape. Public spaces like the orchard at Amy Yee are tended by hundreds of volunteers throughout the year (not just during harvest season), and this final event was a celebration of our volunteer friends old and new. We were so fortunate to welcome Big Brothers Big Sisters on this day, and to be able to offer an opportunity for the youth from the organization to explore their natural environment by harvesting apples to eat and press into fresh cider. It was an experience many of them had not had before and will not soon forget.

Below are some great snapshots of our final large harvest event. If you or someone you know is involved at a local organization that would like to partner with City Fruit at the many public spaces we steward, please e-mail our Community Outreach Coordinator at [email protected]

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Hazel starts the Amy Yee event

Amy Yee Sign Unveiling

 

 Melanie Peters is the AmeriCorps VISTA Community Outreach Coordinator with City Fruit. She can be reached at [email protected]
Sep22

Welcome Brian to City Fruit!

We are delighted to welcome Brian IMG_0866Mickelson to City Fruit as our development manager. With the growth of City Fruit, we have created this new membership and communications focused role. He’ll be busy expanding our membership benefits and community partnerships. Over the next few weeks, he will be very focused on our upcoming harvest celebration week, October 5-12 and our cider taste, November 6!

We are very lucky to have Brian’s great experience and enthusiasm joining our team. He immediately wowed our team with his passion for food and environmental issues, and his meticulous research and preparation. I know you’ll be impressed by his energy and passion for Seattle’s urban orchard and helping our neighbors in need. (Brian has already added several untended trees to our database)!

Brian comes to us from New York City, where he worked for the Environmental Defense Fund as development coordinator. Before that, he spent a good amount of time in academic publishing and worked as a copyeditor in Boston.  He’ll be working with City Fruit part-time as he pursues his Master’s degree in public policy at the Evans School at the University of Washington. And somehow in between all of that, he’s looking for a good hockey league to join!

Finally, Brian is acclimating nicely to Seattle.  He already loves the apple as his favorite fruit and eats at least one a day, usually with his lunch. Along with his public health focused fiancée, he purchased a Subaru, but bikes or buses to work. Email Brian at [email protected] or meet him during one of our many October events!

Aug21

Meet City Fruit Ambassador, Phil!

Phil fruitselfie                 Philfruitselfie2

Meet Phil. Phil is just one of 13 City Fruit Ambassadors. The Ambassador program is simple: as an Ambassador you’re the voice and face of City Fruit in the neighborhood of your choice by committing 3-5 hours of volunteer work every month for a year. There are general themes and objectives during certain months, but you get to choose your activities based on your skills and passions. As an Ambassador you receive awesome City Fruit gear, support and guidance from our Community Outreach Coordinator, and a cool community of like-minded folks in your neighborhood to meet and collaborate with on projects!

But let’s get back to Phil. Phil is one of our Ballard Ambassadors. In the words of Phil, “Really, it boils down to the people for me.” Before Phil was a City Fruit Ambassador, he led volunteer fruit tree harvests with Solid Ground — an incredible organization that used to harvest fruit trees in Seattle’s northern neighborhoods. Leading neighborhood harvests in Ballard is the reason why Phil decided to become an Ambassador.

As an Ambassador, Phil enjoys getting to know people  be it fruit tree donors or the people who receive the donated fruit. When Phil harvests a tree he likes to get to know the tree donor — why did they choose to donate their tree, what’s their experience with fruit trees, the history of their tree, etc.

However, what affects Phil most is the actual delivery of the fruit: “When you get to experience the appreciation for something that I think we all take for granted [access to fresh food] it changes the way you look at your own circumstances. It really makes me feel very fortunate, and energizes me to take steps to help others.”

To learn more about how to get involved with City Fruit, sign up to volunteer at one of our regularly scheduled harvests here. And don’t forget to view our calendar for other opportunities, too!

Jul15

Meet our Harvest Team!

Meet photo-2City Fruit’s 2014 Harvest Team! From left, Dusty Towler, who will be focusing on the West Seattle; Luke Jesperson, our Harvest Coordinator, who is working in the neighborhoods of South Seattle, including Beacon Hill, Columbia City, Mount Baker, and Rainier Beach; and Hamilton Anderson, who will harvest in North Seattle, including the neighborhoods of Ballard, Phinney/Greenwood, and Wallingford.

The harvesters will be out in their areas each weekday starting around 8:30am and collecting fruit until the early afternoon.  From there, the fresh and nutritious fruit will be delivered to food banks and meal programs in the same neighborhood.

If you haven’t had a chance to sign up for our annual harvest, fill out our quick tree survey here.

Jul09

Flexible Volunteer Opportunity: Become an Ambassador Today!

Rizal 0083 berries & skylineSummer is finally upon us and City Fruit is excited to announce a new, creative way to get involved with us this year!

The City Fruit Ambassador Program is a year long opportunity to use your skills, passions, and connections to be the voice and face of City Fruit in the neighborhood of your choice. City Fruit is looking for Ambassadors in the five neighborhoods where we currently work — Ballard, Phinney/Greenwood, South Seattle, Wallingford, and West Seattle.  

For example, say you live in Ballard and really love the idea of attending some neighborhood volunteer harvests with City Fruit. You could take your involvement a step further and instead of volunteering with City Fruit during an occasional Ballard volunteer harvest, you can be a City Fruit Ambassador and lead a monthly volunteer harvest with a few neighbors/friends in Ballard. City Fruit would support you in your endeavors by providing you with everything necessary to make your time as an Ambassador a success!

Here’s another, non-harvest related example of what you could do as a City Fruit Ambassador. Perhaps you live in Wallingford and are heavily involved with your local Parent Teacher Organization. As an Ambassador, you could speak at monthly meetings that you already attend or write a blog post or two about what City Fruit has been doing in the Wallingford neighborhood.

There’s a hundred different ways to get involved as a City Fruit Ambassador, and we look forward to hearing your unique ideas and working with you to make this a successful and rewarding program! To apply, click hereRemember, applications for the City Fruit Ambassador Program are due by Friday, August 1.

 

Jun18

Top Ten Reasons You Should Vote for City Fruit to Win $50,000!

There’s less than a week left to vote for City Fruit in Zipcar’s Communities with Drive program! We hope you’ve taken the time to help us win $50,000 and expand our urban harvest.  If you need a little more convincing, we have compiled a list of reasons to vote for us:

10.  Figs! You may not know it, but figs are a fruit grown throughout Seattle. Our annual gathering of figs helps sustain the harvest, as the fruit is too delicate for most food banks and we are able to sell them to partners like Tom Douglas Restaurants.

Fig

9. Apple cider. Each fall, we celebrate the apple harvest with a series of apple cider events in Seattle neighborhoods.  We also loan out our apple presses – one manual, one electric – to community organizations.  Tasty, delicious fresh apple cider? Yes, please!

8. Partners for a more sustainable future. We have a diverse range of partners that believe in the work we are doing and who help fund the harvest and our programming, including the City of Seattle Department of Parks and Recreation, the Washington Department of Natural Resources, and the King Conservation District.

7. Network of tree owners. With hundreds of residencies from around the Seattle area donating their trees to City Fruit, we help build communal solidarity through the idea that everyone deserves access to fresh, healthy produce. Neighbors get to participate in the sharing economy and build a stronger sense of community.

6. 55,000 pounds of fruit.  Over the last five years, City Fruit has harvested over 55,000 pounds of fruit from Seattle neighborhoods. This year the harvest is taking place in five neighborhoods – Wallingford, Ballard, South Seattle, West Seattle, and Phinney-Greenwood. We hope to continue expanding to new areas with your support, harvesting more fruit and getting it to those in need.

5. Stewardship. We conserve and protect Seattle’s natural resources by encouraging organic tree care, reducing the amount of pesticides entering our streams and oceans, and providing a healthy environment for our precious pollinators. Many of our orchard sites were once overrun with blackberry vines and other invasives before stewards intervened. We’re working to preserve urban orchards for the next generation.

4. Dedicated and knowledgeable Orchard Stewards. We train and support a network of hardworking volunteers who are committed to caring for Seattle’s diverse urban orchards. This amazing group works year-round to care for fruit trees and share knowledge with the public.

3. Delivering fresh fruit to 50 programs and growing. During the harvest season, City Fruit donates fruit to local food banks, meal programs, senior centers, and daycares, among others.  We’ve reached over 50 programs in the last five years.

2. Amazing volunteers.  From orchard stewards, to local volunteers, to corporate partners, to our amazing and talented board of directors, our work would not be possible without community support from people like you.

1. Rescuing a local resource. We take wasted, unused fruit and make it available to the emergency food system. Food banks often struggle to provide fresh produce for their patrons, and fresh fruit is especially appreciated and valuable. We also find uses for fruit that isn’t fresh eating quality, such as fresh cider, hard cider, preserves, and dried fruit.

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.

Jun12

Harvest Season has Begun!

As someone who is very interested in supporting local food and food justice movements, yesterday was a very exciting day for two reasons. First, and most importantly, yesterday it was reported that farmworkers had reached a $500,000 dollar settlement with Sakuma Brothers berry farm located in Burlington. The agreement also included reforms to keeping track of workers’ labor as well as longer and more consistent breaks throughout the day. Second, yesterday was also my first City Fruit harvest of the year! I was able to pick a few pounds of delicious cherries from the yard of one of our donors.

Cherry season has come earlier than ever before!

Cherry season has come earlier than ever before!

This was especially thrilling for me as it was almost three weeks earlier than we’d ever harvested in past years. Thanks to the warm spring along with some timely rain, we expect most of our fruit varieties to be ready much earlier than normal. Remember, if you have not yet taken our survey on whether or not you’d like your tree harvested, please do so. Ready or not, here harvest season comes!

 

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!

May30

The Collecting of Fruit and Thoughts

Hey there folks!

Meridian Park Orchard

Meridian Park Orchard – Photo by Audrey L. Lieberworth

Welcome to my City Fruit blog which will allow you to follow me as I ensconce myself in the food issues affecting the city Tom Robbins excitedly described as, “the best place to go to experiment with life,” -Seattle, WA. My name is Luke Jesperson and I am the new Harvest Coordinator at City Fruit. Our Executive Director and founder, Gail Savina, who has been coordinating the fruit harvest since the inception of City Fruit in 2009, is in the process of gradually retiring. While she will be advising me throughout the year, the work will be on my shoulders. As the old idiom goes, “I’m being thrown to the wolfberries,” and man do I have tons to learn! I’ve been told that the key to finding fruit to harvest is to first find trees that bear fruit and to find trees to harvest takes the generosity of the people of the community to donate their trees for us to harvest. If any of you would like to donate your fruit tree, please fill out this two-question survey. It is greatly appreciated!

What I hope to achieve with my blog is three-fold: one goal is to keep people updated on the status and my successes/failures during the fruit harvest in our community while highlighting the organizations working on this issue. My second goal is offer suggestions, opportunities, events to attend for those looking to learn and become more involved in food and hunger issues. And third, this blog will be a place in which I can reflect on the real issues of food justice, security, and hunger affecting our community today. After spending four years thinking about food on an international scale, multiple summers farming on a small, sustainable level, I look forward to working at the city level trying to have a positive impact on our community.

I’m very excited for the harvest season. As the Blue Scholars correctly stated, “ain’t nothin’ better than a summer in the Upper Left.”

 

 

 

 

Aug09

City Fruit-Cycle: Drop off your fruit every Wednesday at Bike Works

City Fruit is kicking off a new initiative in which we encourage homeowners to harvest their own fruit, drop it off with us, and we’ll make sure it gets to one of our many food banks partners.

We are so psyched to be partnering with Bike Works to provide this community resource. Bike Works has been working for kids, bikes, and community since 1996. Their programs invest in young people and encourage bicycling as a clean and healthy transportation alternative. Check them out!

Our lovely fruit trike will be parked out in front of Bike Works in Columbia City on Wednesdays from 3:30-6:30 pm during the Columbia City Farmers Market.  Come on by with your extra fruit and help us get this initiative off the ground.

Wanna volunteer? We need people to help staff our fruit cycle on Wednesdays from 3:30pm-6:30pm. Contact [email protected] if interested.

 

Jul31

City Fruit Cocktail Class @ Cuoco

City Fruit Cocktail classPRICE: $40 all inclusive

Purchase Tickets

DATE: 08/15/2013
TIME: at Cuoco
LOCATION: Cuoco’s Sophia Room
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Cost: $40 for one class

All proceeds of this event will benefit City Fruit

Cuoco is proud to team up with *City Fruit for a 3 month series of cocktail classes.  These cocktail classes will focus on the fruit being harvested around the city and will demonstrate various techniques for utilizing fruit in drinks including bitters, infusions, syrups, purees, pickles and more!  Sampling of all the drinks created as well as snacks will be provided, along with the opportunity to get some hands on participation.

Class attendees can expect to take home recipes, a city fruit membership (which gives them access to special events as well as discounts at various nurseries around town), fruit from City Fruit, as well as treats to make cocktails at home!

Class Schedule:

  • Thursday, September 19th: Italian Plums and Asian Pears
  • Thursday, October 24th: Apples and European Pears

 

All classes begin at 6pm and are located in Cuoco’s Sophia Room.
Class size is limited to 20 seats.
*City Fruit promotes the cultivation of urban fruit in order to nourish people, build community and protect climate.  The organization helps tree ownders grow healthy fruit, provide assistance in harvesting and preserving fruit, promote the sharing of extra fruit and work to protect urban fruit trees.  City Fruit focuses on: Conservation, preservation of the urban tree canopy, stewardship, harvest, using and sharing fruit as well as community building.