Gaetene is a resident of Dauphin, MB and has written a great piece that will be published in a number of local newspapers this week. She is looking in to the idea of starting a Fruit Share in Dauphin and the surrounding Parkland area. Way to go Gaetene!
Dauphin “Berry Patch” and Fruit Share Manitoba
A few times this past week, with anticipation and glee, I visited the “Berry Patch” garden in Dauphin. I took the opportunity to harvest a share of cherries, crab apples, delicious red currents and rhubarb. Still to come are the chokecherries, and already past their prime were the Saskatoon berries. Constructed and maintained by the “Dauphin in Bloom” program, this aptly named gem on the west side of the train station highlights some of the diverse, perennial food that grows in the region and offers it to be enjoyed by the residents and visitors of Dauphin alike.
Looking at the sagging cherry and apple trees, still heavy with fruit, I started to think about a missed opportunity for more people to enjoy this healthy, local bounty before it falls to the ground. I also recalled a conversation I had with a young, single professional in Dauphin who is tempted to cut down her beautiful, bountiful apple tree because she has neither the time nor desire to harvest its fruit. Recently, I learned about and was inspired by, fruit share programs that are popping up across the country in answer to this problem and opportunity. I discovered an organization called Fruit Share Manitoba. Their website explains that since 2010, Fruit Share has been a volunteer-led organization dedicated to picking, sharing and enjoying fresh fruit growing in backyards throughout Manitoba. Fruit share connects fruit owners who have excess fruit, with volunteer fruit pickers. These volunteers pick the fruit and share it between the fruit owners, the volunteers and community groups. They also hold workshops on safe-picking and fruit preservation. So far, Fruit Share has branches in Winnipeg, Steinbach and Brandon. Perhaps Dauphin and the Parkland could be next?
With the will of some volunteers and a little organization, the bounty of places like the “Berry Patch” in Dauphin, and other places with excess fruit, could be put to great use and contribute to the celebration of local food, nutritious diets, and community building. Anyone who is interested in exploring these fruit sharing ideas, please contact me, Gaëtane Carignan, at my personal email firstname.lastname@example.org or at (204)648-7582 during evenings and weekends.