Aw, shucks, sometimes, there are just not enough fruit pickers to harvest all the fruit.
Here are some ideas for what else you can do:
Put a call out on your social media. You never know who in your network might be interested in fruit.
Host a picking party. Picking fruit is more fun when there are several people doing it together. Serve some iced tea and a tray of cookies and you’re guaranteed to have a good time. Encourage the group to pick an extra bag for a senior down the street who may be unable to participate. It’s a great way to build positive relationships with your neighbours.
Hire a neighbourhood teenager to harvest your fruit for you. If you don’t know who to call, ask your community centre for a list of neighbourhood babysitters or dog walkers. These keen, young individuals might consider adding fruit picking to their repertoire of services.
Post a notice at your local garden club, church or community centre advertising delicious, free fruit available for picking.
Put a classified ad in your community paper or online at sites like Kijiji or your Community Buy and Sell.
Ask vendors at your local Farmers’ Market if they would be interested in picking your fruit. Those that sell homemade preserves or fresh produce might be pleased to make good use of your crop.
Ask a local community group to pick your fruit. Call groups like the Boys and Girls Club, Scouts Canada, Brownies, school groups, etc. Suggest that they donate the fruit to a local food charity or use the fruit for their own purposes.
Call a neighbourhood development organization, community garden club or another food group that offers food preserving workshops. These groups may appreciate free supplies.
Call a local Hutterite Colony to see if they would be interested in picking your fruit. A listing of Hutterite Colonies in the prairies can be found at www.hutterites.org under the Hutterite Directory.