Donate your extra fruit to those in need

Aug 17, 2012

Isn't it exciting when the plum or fig tree you've been nurturing finally bears fruit? But keeping up with the bounty  and eating it all can be a challenge. Rather than tossing the excess or letting it rot, there are volunteers who are happy to come to your home and harvest what you are willing to give away.

They are with the Community Fruit Tree Harvest Projects. It's under the umbrella of the non-profit Lettuce Link. All of the collected produce is donated to food banks, homeless shelters and senior centers. 

Amanda Lee is in charge of organizing the volunteers. She says Seattle is so full of remnants of old orchards that some of the varieties they harvest are quite rare. Take for example, the Yellow Transparent Apple. 

"It is a very delicate apple. It will only keep for a few days, so when we get  a call we send out a crew of volunteers to harvest the tree."

If you donate, another non-profit called City Fruit will check your tree to see if it's healthy and prune it free of charge. 

The urban harvest doesn't just go to people's homes, it collects from businesses and university campuses as well. The program runs through October. In a good year more than 14-thousand pounds of fruit are collected.