Picking Pears

Last week we were lucky enough to have a couple of opportunities for our volunteers to pick pears. Here are some photos, and thoughts, from one of those picks, shared by volunteers Ariel and Maria.

“Had a great time on a beautiful warm fall day picking pears in St. Vital! Lots of helpers made for quick results! Only 1 hour and almost 200 lbs were collected. What a harvest! Thank you Fruit Share and everyone who contributed!”  -Maria, Volunteer

Some lovely looking pears.


Here’s the fruit owner up in the tree. We love it when they get right in there with us!


Working hard to get those pears.


What a haul!

Apple Curry Soup

You know you have too many apples when you start making apple soup! This recipe, from the Prairie Fruit Cookbook,  is a nice change from all sweet things we often make with apples – what do you know, they’re great in savory dishes as well.
Simple and elegant, this soup makes an impressive first course to any special dinner.
Apple Curry Soup
Apple Curry Soup

1 Tbsp. butter
1 large onion, sliced thinly
4 cups vegetable stock
3 Manitoba apples, cored, peeled, & chopped (Goodland is a nice variety for this recipe, but you can use other varieties as well)
1 tsp. curry powder (or to taste)

3 sprigs of curry plant leaves (optional)
2 Tbsp lemon juice
2 Tbsp. butter
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup light cream
salt and pepper to taste


Sauté onion in 1tbsp of butter until soft.

The Crab Apple Dilemma

Dear Crab Apple Owners,

We want to thank you all for registering your fruit with us over the years, we are glad that you have the desire to share your fruit and wish to see it put to good use.

As most of you are already aware, this summer we have had some challenges filling all of our pick requests. This has been especially true for Crab Apples.  There are a few reasons for this, which we’d like to share with you in the hopes of coming up with some solutions to the ‘crab apple dilemma’ for next year.

  • Currently, 129 out of our 307 Fruit Owners have crab apple trees. That means over 40% of picks that we are offering to our volunteers and partner organizations are crab apples.

Cosmetic Pesticide Ban

The provincial government is looking at potentially banning the sale and use of chemicals to maintain the appearance of lawns and gardens and one of our Fruit Share volunteers has been involved in gathering support for such a ban. Because we know many of our volunteers and homeowners feel the same way, we wanted to share some more information with you on the subject. Here is some background information on the ban:

Pesticides are seriously harmful to our heath, to our children, to our pets, and to our environment. There are many natural and safe alternatives for dealing with weeds in lawns and gardens.

Cosmetic Pesticide Ban Manitoba supports legislation that:

Cider Press Demo at Wolseley Farmers’ Market

Fruit Share will be at the Wolseley Farmers’ market for one final evening tomorrow, Tuesday the 18th, from 4-8 pm. We’ll have a table selling the last of our cider (only 12 jugs left!), the Prairie Fruit Cookbook, apples and hopefully some baking and preserves donated by our volunteers.

From 5-7 pm, our volunteer Darby will demonstrating how fun and easy it is to make your own apple cider with a homemade press. If you’re interested, you can order a press to be made for you for $75, or talk to Darby about how you can make your own.

One of Darby’s cider presses

Grape Facts- How to harvest your grapes

We’ve got a few grape picks coming up this week, so for all you grape pickers out there, here are a few pointers to ensure a quick and satisfying harvest!

It is best to pick grapes on a warm, sunny day as the grapes will have the highest sugar content and will store better without any surface moisture.

To pick:

Hold a cluster of grapes in one hand and snip the whole cluster off the vine with sharp garden pruners or scissors. Breaking off the cluster is difficult and will damage the plant, so make sure you are being careful!

How will you use the grapes you pick?


Grape Facts- How to tell if your grapes are ripe

Having trouble determining when your grapes are ready to be picked? Consider these things when looking for the perfect time to harvest!

The ideal grape is sweet, plump, and firm with a deep, full colour. Grapes need a long, warm, sunny growing period to obtain their optimum taste and texture. For prairie grape growers that often means keeping one eye on the grapes and one eye on the forecast throughout September.

Once picked, grapes will not change in sweetness or colour so it’s important to harvest when they are at their peak. The colour of the fruit will turn before the sweetness has fully developed so tasting grapes is the best method to determine when to harvest the fruit. Contrary to popular belief, you do not need to wait until the first frost to harvest your grapes.

The Ups and Downs of Crab Apples: Different varieties and our experiences with them

If you’ve sworn off of crab apples based on some bad experiences – please give this post a read. Not all crab apples are alike! Different varieties have different features that make them great for different purposes.

There are many varieties of crab apples available on the prairies and the list of available varieties changes from year to year, with new introductions continually being added. They are often used for landscaping purposes because of their beautiful blossoms and colorful foliage.

The different varieties ripen at different times. Earlier in the season, most of our requests to pick were for the Rescue variety of crab apples, great for fresh eating, juice or jelly.

Ripe Rescue crabs on the tree

Fruit Share taking part in Collage-à-trois show happening tonight at the Exchange Community Church

Local music +local food & drink = lovely evening.

If that sounds about right to you, head down to the Exchange Community Church to enjoy the musical stylings of local band Collage-à-trois, a trio of women with amazing voices and beautiful harmonies. Fruit Share will be there,  selling our apple cider for the show-goers to enjoy as well as some local farmers selling produce and baked goodies. Show starts at 8 PM.

View the Facebook Event

Hear a Sampling of Collage-à-trois’ music

Website Crash – Missing all New Registrations and Requests from August 28-September 3

Over the long weekend, our website’s host server was compromised. This explains why some folks had difficulty viewing and using our website over the weekend.  As a result of this, our site had to be reset to the time of it’s last back up, which was August 27, 2012. What this means is that if you registered your fruit, registered as a volunteer, or requested a harvest last week (between August 28 and September 3), all of that data has been lost and we’ll need you to re-register and/or re-request. If you’re unsure of when you registered or requested, please contact us and we can tell you if you are still in our database. We are very sorry about this, and are working on ways to ensure our data is better protected so that this won’t happen again.

Updated List of Charities and Community Groups Looking for Fruit

We’ve recently added a whole bunch of new charitable organizations and other community groups to our list of places that would love to receive excess fruit.  Here is an updated list, with addresses, for a quick reference. Just click on the name of the charity to go to find out more information about what they do and how you can donate.

  1. Union Gospel Mission – 320 Princess St.
  2. Agape Table Inc. – 175 Colony St.
  3. Teen Challenge Central Canada – 414 Edmonton Street
  4. Forward House Ministries – 407 Chalmers Ave.
  5. Winnipeg Harvest – 1085 Winnipeg Avenue
  6. The Salvation Army Booth Centre – 180 Henry Avenue
  7. Resource Assistance for Youth (RaY) – 125 Sherbrook Street

Spotlight on North Point Douglas Women’s Centre

Yet another organization doing great work that would be happy to receive donations of excess fruit.

North Point Douglas Women’s Centre

North Point Douglas Women’s Centre exists to create opportunities for women to develop their potential and engage fully as citizens of their community. Their vision is a safe, healthy, vibrant community for women and families in which all forms of violence against women are addressed by engaging the community in prevention and care.

Donated fruit would be eaten fresh and used for programming in their community kitchen or cooking programs or given out to women as emergency food.

Contact Information

Street Address

221 Austin Street.





Fruit Share Photo Contest


On September 18th, Food Matters Manitoba is hosting a Gallery Exhibit AGM at the Winnipeg Art Gallery and they have asked us to be a part of it! In order to showcase the amazing work going on in the food security field in the province, the AGM will feature a photo exhibit capturing the work that we and their other partner organizations do. We’ve been invited to submit and image that demonstrates how Fruit Share has been involved in increasing Food Security for all Manitobans.

So, we are opening it up to you – our volunteers and homeowners – who better to capture what we do? Please send us your best shots of picks or other Fruit Share events. We want to show that Fruit Share is about building community, as well as rescuing fruit, so keep that in mind as you select your submission.

Bobbing for Apples

Here’s another fun way to use Manitoba apples!

Good old fashioned bobbing for apples.

Of course if you’re not keen on the idea of several individuals dipping their mouth in the same water as others, you can modify this activity.  At home, I let my kids acutally bob for the apples.  At the South Osborne Sidewalk Festival a couple of weeks ago, Fruit Share opted for a modified version that did not involve submersing your head in water.

Option 1 – give the bobber chop sticks and see if they can balance the apple and get it out of the water