Do have more rhubarb than you can possible eat, freeze or can?
The apple tree in the backyard produces so many apples each year the yard is covered with them as they fall to waste.
Well this year there is an option to all that fruit going to waste.
A Grow ‘n’ Share program is being launched in the city. It is a simple enough idea, said spokesperson Shanon Hilton. Those with excess fruit to harvest register with the program, as do those wanting fruit and willing to volunteer some time to harvest that fruit.
When the fruit is ready to pick volunteers do the work, with the fruit tree owner getting one-third, the volunteers one-third, and the remaining third going to community organizations such as Soup Haven and the Salvation Army Food Bank, said Hilton.
Hilton said she thinks the fruit sharing program is a natural for the city.
“It’s quite popular. It’s really a growing trend in other large centres,” she said. “I don’t see why it wouldn’t work here.
In Toronto a similar program shared 20,000 pounds of fruit in 2010. Hilton said that is significant when one considers much of that fruit might otherwise have went to waste.
A fruit share program in Manitoba, in its second year of operation estimated it shared “$15-$20,000 of unwanted fruit and shared it within the community,” said Hilton.
“So I think the idea has merit.”
For Hilton the idea came into focus when a friend asked her to harvest excess raspberries from their patch. They had three rows, but were using only the fruit from one.
“It kind of opened my eyes,” she said, adding she realized others were probably in a similar situation, having fruit plants but unable to harvest all of the production for a variety of reasons from time, health and interest.
Hilton said while the primary reason for the program is to share a local resource which might otherwise go to waste, it is also a way of hopefully preserving fruit plots. If they can be shared people who may no longer want the fruit might still maintain the trees knowing they are being used well.
You can learn more about the program at www.grow-n-share.blogspot.com
People with any kind of fruit to share, or those wanting to volunteer to help with picking may call 782-0952.