Sometimes a pick is just a pick, sometimes it’s so much more. A recent pick brought me back to 2010 when Fruit Share was just taking shape.
Mrs. O is one of the original homeowners that called me to pick her Goodland apples in 2010. She was 80 and couldn’t pick or use all of her gorgeous apples. Given to her by her sons on Mother’s Day years ago, she was eager to see the apples from her special tree go to good use. Her story inspired part of my TEDX talk on Sharing Our Surplus.
Aleta is one of the original 10 volunteers that joined Fruit Share in 2010 – and one of the few that wasn’t a friend or family member that joined just because they felt sorry for me (Dayna, our current Summer Coordinator matches that criteria too)! Aleta has been a picker, a neighbourhood leader and a recipe contributor – be sure to check out her Maple Apple Crisp recipe.
Actually, Mrs. O is not an official, registered fruit owner with Fruit Share, she doesn’t want to be. You see, like many of her peers, Mrs. O does not use computers (of course Fruit Shares offers to accommodate for that) and does not trust strangers entering her yard. Instead, she simply calls the GM of our local community centre or Aleta to let them know that her tree is ready for the “ladies” to pick. Turns out that on our first pick in 2010, Aleta and Mrs. O discovered they knew each other – her sons went to school with Aleta (Riverview is such an awesome small community). After Mrs. O’s yearly call, Aleta gathers one or two extra people and leads the pick in Mrs. O’s backyard.
Like in 2010, this year it was just Aleta and me picking Mrs. O’s apples, at least at first. We were soon joined by Mrs. O’s son who dropped by to mow the lawn. He was a great help with the apple picker and together we harvested about 150 lbs of apples – a little less than in 2010 – but plenty to share and enjoy!
And, yes, we did see Mrs. O. Charming as always, she was grateful to see her apples being used and to catch up with Aleta.
Whether a registered owner or not, helping people like Mrs. O, rescuing unused fruits and veggies and building community are what Fruit Share is all about.