Volunteer Interview – Ariel Gordon

Ariel Gordon sits under a tree by the community centre in Wolseley. Her energetic young daughter, Anna, bounces about like the Energizer Bunny in an animé t-shirt. I try not to fangirl too much as she graciously signs my copy of her latest book of poetry, Stowaways.

Ariel is a dedicated Fruit Share volunteer. She says she has been to almost every kind of pick – grapes, chokecherries, cherries, pears, vegetables (“that was astounding and different. You know how cucumbers become all orange and bloated when they’re overripe? It’s so funny! There were these weird orange globes on the ground.”), and of course lots of apples (“and crab apples!” her daughter chimes in). On picks, Anna is in charge of collecting the fallen fruit. She loves doing that because “you get to run around a lot.”

From Australia to Winnipeg – by Pascale R

strawberry

There’s a scary and growing trend where we consume and discard fruit and vegetables without a second thought to it. It’s so easily accessible to us, in grocery stores, in markets, at restaurants, that tossing it out is never a concern because we can easily replace it. This leads to a lot of wastage. How much is a lot? In Canada alone it’s 2.5 billion alone in fresh produce.

When I moved to Canada from Australia a couple of years ago, I wanted to get involved in the community and be part of a sustainable project. Our fresh produce wastage numbers are scary, but that’s nothing compared to the wastage that’s occurring in our own backyards without us even realizing it.

What’s the Buzz about Fruit Share?

Welcome to new friends and familiar ones! We are looking forward to the 2014 season ahead. In the meantime, we thought this would be a great opportunity to share more information about the organization and what we are about.

 

The Back Story

The revolution began in the spring of 2010. Frustrated with fresh, local, nutritious fruit going to waste, and the desire to help others, Getty Stewart started Fruit Share in her South Osborne neighborhood. The inspiration to create Fruit Share came to Getty after reading an article about volunteer fruit rescuing operations in cities like Vancouver, Toronto, Edmonton, Calgary, and Victoria. During the first summer, 10 volunteers harvested over 1,600 pounds of fruit at 20 picks and calls started to come in from all over Winnipeg. By the second year, Fruit Share grew to a stunning 201 volunteers harvesting over 7,300 pounds of fruit from 153 registered fruit owners.