Meet Tyler Pearce. Tyler is one of Fruit Share’s biggest fans and a loyal Fruit Picker. We had a chance to hear about Tyler’s experiences with Fruit Share. Read on to learn more about Tyler and #meetourmembers.
What prompted you to join Fruit Share?
I love sharing. I also love picking fruit and canning. I love the experience of meeting homeowners who are happy to see the fruit growing in their yards to a good use. I love that by picking, I can give to an organization.
Aside from being a Fruit Picker, what do you do?
I work at LITE, a charity dedicated to funding employment and training opportunities for people with barriers to employment. I’m also an active gardener, an editor and photographer.
How has this year’s Fruit Picking season been treating you?
I’ve only been on one pick so far this year, but it kept me very busy! Although I donated over half of what I picked, I managed to can 10 cans of apple sauce and 6 of apple cider concentrate. (WOW, right?) Since I’m now all apple-picked out, I’m hoping I’ll get to pick another fruit.
Tell me about one of the most memorable moments you’ve had with Fruit Share.
Last year, I showed up at 8 AM to a pick in River Heights and I was the only picker. The homeowner was a widower and the tree in his yard was full of apples. He told me about his wife and the pies she used to make from the apples. He was concerned about the apples going to waste, and that I was the only picker. He was so nice and the day was so beautiful. I picked and picked, picked and picked, until the whole tree was picked. (The homeowner and his good friend did pitched in at a certain point!) In the end, we donated about 500 pounds to Winnipeg Harvest, he set aside about 20 pounds for his niece, and I took home at least 200 pounds. The tree started out with droopy branches, but they sprang up after all those apples were gone! I love meeting the fruit owners and hearing their story. Most I’ve met, like the widower, are elderly, and they tell me about all the wonderful dishes they or their spouse would make. It’s a gift to receive fruit from people’s backyards; the apples I’ve picked are never just apples, they are from a tree that has been cared for and a part of someone’s life. To me, the life story of the tree and its humans are the best part of Fruit Share.
If you could pick with anybody in the world, who would you want to attend a pick with?
I’ve always wanted my family to come on a pick with me. I imagine we’d spend the whole day together, pick the whole tree, and deliver a truck-load of apples to a community organization.
What advice do you have for first time pickers?
Learn how to pick fruit so you don’t damage the tree. Rule #1: no yanking!
What’s your favourite thing to do with fruit you’ve picked?
Mainly, I turn the fruit into sauce and can it.
If you’d like to be a Fruit Picker like Tyler or have a fruit tree that needs to be picked, subscribe for your Fruit Share membership here.