Connecting fruit growers and pickers online to reduce waste and share a healthy harvest with community organizations
An urban bounty is about to hit Winnipeg’s online sharing economy: a new online tool called Fruit Connect links Winnipeg fruit growers with local pickers who enjoy picking and using local fruit.
“We love fruit, and we want to make sure fruit grown in our city is harvested, shared and enjoyed by people who need or want fresh, local produce,” says Getty Stewart, founder of Fruit Share, the group behind Fruit Connect.
Fruit Share encourages people with surplus fruit on trees, shrubs or bushes in their yards to make that fruit available to volunteer pickers, and share the harvest equally between the fruit owner, the pickers and community organizations.
In its six years, Fruit Share has rescued over 25,000 kg of fruit. “We’re thrilled with the results to date, but we know there’s always more fruit than we can manage and a limited time to pick it in,” says Stewart. “By removing ourselves from the scheduling and enabling pickers and growers to connect directly via Fruit Connect, we’re confident more fruit can be harvested, shared and enjoyed.”
Fruit Connect was built locally by Tactica Interactive, a Winnipeg based web and mobile app development company, with funding from the Canadian Internet Registration Authority’s (CIRA) Community Investment Program.
“CIRA is helping to build a better online Canada, and Fruit Connect is an example of how the Internet is fertilizing the sharing economy,” said David Fowler, CIRA’s Director of Marketing and Communications.
The online ‘fruit rescue’ tool is the first of its kind in Canada and is already drawing attention from across the country. To see the system in action, join Fruit Share at the launch of Fruit Connect this Thursday, July 14 from 7-9 pm at Fools and Horses (379 Broadway, Winnipeg, MB). To start using it right away visit www.FruitShare.ca.
Fruit Share – Key Stats/Facts
Since 2010, Fruit Share volunteers have harvested roughly 25,600 kg of fruit in Winnipeg. That’s 28 tons worth of apples, crab apples, pears, grapes, rhubarb, cherries, strawberries, raspberries, herbs and pumpkins.
Siloam Mission, Agape Table, Winnipeg Harvest, local day care centres and seniors’ residences are among the community organizations that have benefitted from the Fruit Share program.
Fruit Connect is accessible on any device. Users can browse fruit by neighbourhood or date available, and can attend picks or create picks. A $10.75 seasonal membership fee helps cover insurance and system maintenance costs.
Fruit Share is a program of the Manitoba Association of Home Economists which provides administrative support and insurance for registered users.