I first noticed apple blossoms peeking out from blackberry vines along the Burke-Gilman Trail in 2008. I’ve been rehabilitating public fruit trees ever since. I started volunteering with City Fruit around that time, and about a year ago became the organization’s orchard steward coordinator. Now I support volunteer stewards and their fruit tree care efforts in public orchards all over the city.
Our tree care regimen is strictly organic, without sprays or chemical fertilizers. The care takes just a few hours per tree each season, but we need many helping hands. City Fruit staff members are trained to harness the energy of hundreds of volunteers, coordinate care with Seattle Parks gardeners, and harvest and deliver fruit into Seattle’s emergency food system.
In 2014, our stewarded orchards yielded 6,000 pounds of fresh, organic fruit suitable for donation. We hope to grow, harvest, and donate even more orchard fruit in 2015, but we need your help! We work in the orchards year-round and welcome as many volunteers as we can handle. Come on your own or with a group from work, school, or the neighborhood. Check the City Fruit calendar for 2015 work parties or email firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a custom work party. And please, on this #GivingTuesday, donate what you can to help City Fruit continue to grow!
Barb Burrill is City Fruit’s orchard stewards coordinator.