Harvesting Options: What to do if Fruit Share Can’t Help

It happens.  As hard as we try and as much as we want to, there are times when Fruit Share just can’t help.  Location, timing, or limited volunteer resources are the key reasons why sometimes we aren’t able to help out generous fruit owners.

What’s a fruit owner to do?

I’m glad you asked!  Fruit owners do have other options for managing their backyard fruit.  Here’s a list of creative harvesting ideas to consider:

  • Host a Picking Party.  Picking is much more fun when there are several people doing it together.  Serve some ice tea and a tray of cookies and you’re guaranteed to have a good time.  Once they’re in the spirit, encourage them to pick an extra bag for a neighbour down the street who might not be as agile but would appreciate some fresh fruit.  It’s a great way to build positive relationships with your neighbours.And, while they’re picking for themselves, ask them to pick some more for a local food charity (read Sharing the Harvest atwww.fruitshare.ca).
  • Set up an Apple Cider Making Adventure. Let your friends and neighbours know that anyone that helps pick your apples will get fresh pressed apple cider at a price well below retail prices.  Call Apple Junction at (204) 355-9288 to set up a date for pressing your apples, then schedule your adventure accordingly.  You will love this fresh juice and your friends will be begging to pick your tree every year!
  • Post a notice at your local garden club, church or community centre stating you have delicious, free fruit available for picking. 
  • 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 offered.  Isn’t it worth $20 to have your fruit taken care of?
  • Put a classified ad in your community paper or online at places like Kijiji.  There are a lot of people who welcome the opportunity to get fresh, local fruit.
  •  Ask some of the vendors at your local Farmers’ Market if they would be interested in picking your fruit.  For a list of Farmers’ Markets in Manitoba visit the Farmers’ Markets Association of Manitoba or call (204)485-7574.
  • Ask a local community group to pick your fruit.  For example the Boys and Girls Club, Scouts Canada, Brownies, school groups, etc.
  • Call a local Hutterite Colony to see if they’d be interested in picking your fruit.  A listing of Manitoba Hutterite Colonies can be found at www.hutterites.org under the Hutterite Directory.  

Remember, harvesting doesn’t have to be a nasty chore – make it fun and get others involved.  You’ll be glad you did!