Ever thought of donating the unused fruit from your very own fruit trees?
We will gladly pick up or harvest your fruit and donate it to local food initiatives.
Fruit must be edible and not sprayed or fertilized with anything chemical.
We actually like fruit to look like it's come straight from the tree,
ie with little wormies or funny shaped,
because that's the way nature intended it!
To date, we've harvested Apples, Pears, Asian Pears, Oranges,
Lemons, Limes, Plums, Peaches, Figs, Nectarines, Apricots,
Persimmons, Fejoia, Grapefruit, Sour Cherries, Walnuts & Quince.
If you have any other type of fruit, we'll gladly accept it!
Berkeley, Kensington, El Cerrito, Albany, Richmond
Mondays, Thursday Mornings and Weekends
Bay Area Rescue Mission
Berkeley School Lunch Initiative
Jewish Community Center (senior lunch program and after school children's program)
Berkeley Food & Housing Project
and when the fruit is not tasty enough for humans... we send it to:
Performing Animal Welfare Society
The idea of harvesting unused fruit came about from walking around our
neighborhood with my newborn son. Even though I'd lived in this neighborhood for
many years, it was only then that I began to notice the large amount and variety
of fruit trees in people's front and back yards. I also saw that much of the fruit was
wasting away on the ground. I thought to myself, "Someone should really harvest
the fruit and give it to others." And then I thought, "Hey, I used to love picking
fruit as a child. Why dont I start a little group..."
And so NBH was came to fruition so to speak.
Initially, I imagined it would be a small neighborhood project.
It has been that, but I had no idea how many people
would love both donating and harvesting the fruit.
The need is great. The people who donate their fruit
are SO relieved that the fruit is not being wasted.
And, of course, the recipients of the fruit are very, very happy.
It has made me very, very happy too as I have met many new friends
and feel more part of my community.
It's a win-win all around!
We are not an official organization.
We're a group of friends who enjoy doing this as a community service.
It's our way of volunteering in a more direct, grassroots way...
If we have one thing in common, it's a love for picking, plucking, and gleaning fruit,
eating it right off the tree (nothing quite compares...)
and sharing it with one and all!
In 2010 we harvested 3,602 lbs of fruit, including apples, oranges, pears, asian pears, loquats,
persimmons and plums that were donated by 43 backyard fruit owners.
My observations this past year:
More families than ever before contacted me asking where they could donate the fruit.
I was happy about this trend as it seemed more families were engaging in picking their own
trees and enjoying the experience of brining the fruit to their local shelter, school etc...
I was contacted by four different individuals from around the country wanting to start their
own backyard harvest initiatives where they live. Seems as if the idea has caught on!
We're looking forward to a great year ahead. All the best to all of you!
And please join us on facebook if you like!
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
All in One Year!
We've just completed out first year at NBH and what fun it's been!
I have to say the experiences we've had this year have exceeded my wildest imagination.
And my imagination is wild... But I digress. With the help of 16 volunteers, we've picked
over 7000 lbs of fruit from 65 homes which were donated to 7 local organizations,
without looking for it we got all sorts of media coverage which subsequently spread
like wild fire over the internet and people's blogs, we've heard from people in Maui,
South Africa, Kentucky, California (Marin, Pasadena, Davis) who are inspired to start
their own harvest groups, we had 2 websites built pro-bono, the USF MBA students
did an outreach project which educated children about harvesting, we've met new neighbors,
new volunteers, new friends. It's just been wonderful.
Thank you to all! Let's see what this next year uncovers...
Saturday, July 25, 2009
It's Raining Plums!
We've been busy harvesting lots of plums since June. I am amazed by all the varieties that grow in Berkeley.
Some are Santa Rosa Plums, others Italian Plums, and many are as small as cherries but I dont know what they are called.
Most are sweet. Good for poppin' right in your mouth, making jams, or even popsicles!
My son and I made plum-lime popsicles which were delicious and easy to make: we just smashed a bunch of plums using a lemon squeezer, added some lime juice and froze 'em up. Voila!
Only problem was ... plums work like prunes on the digestive system, so if you dont want a natural cleanse (!), dilute with water before freezing.
Apples & Pears coming next!
Saturday, February 28, 2009
Today we harvested grapefruits and lemons from Albany, CA.
Part of what is so wonderful about harvesting fruit is to discover the connections unfold.
We were very lucky to have about a dozen volunteers, yoga students of Naushon Kabat-Zinn
As I understand it, being of service to your community is considered a significant part of one's spiritual practice,
an essential partner in developing mindfulness, along with yoga and meditation.
I was mindful of how wonderful and giving people really are, how willing humans are to be of help, and how fun it all is.
The trees were very thankful as well it seemed, relieved of their fruit and also pruned, they looked as if they had gotten a make-over.
The fruits will be donated to several Berkeley homeless shelter and the Berkeley public schools organic lunch program.
Many thanks to all who participated.
North Berkeley Harvest Volunteer Sarah E. Bites in to the sweet fruits of her labor!
Today we harvest 250 lbs of local, organic oranges that were subsequently donated to several shelters.
The NBH Stats for 2009 are in. This past year, with the help of about 10 wonderful volunteers, we harvested 3,284 lbs of luscious, local, organic backyard fruit from 30 families. This is about half the harvesting we did last year and here are the possible reasons why we the haul was not as bountiful:
#1 I did less outreach in 2009 b/c I had less free time, but I also noticed two patterns: one was more people were contacting me asking where they could donate their fruit as they planned on harvesting it themselves. I thought this was great because one of NBH's goals is to bring attention to the fact that people can harvest and locally donate their own fruits quite easily.
#2 Across the board this year, many people reported less fruit on their trees. Someone told me that often one year will be robust and the next less so... Dont know if that is true.
We thank our community for being so generous with their fruits. Most of it went to a local women's and children's shelter. They staff and residents were very thankful and clearly enjoyed having fresh, yummy fruit available.
All the best for 2010,
February 4, 2001: Berkeleyside
September 13, 2008: New York Times
February 26, 2008: East Bay Daily News
Neighborhood Harvest - Berkeley
People United For A Better Change (PUEBLO) - Oakland
Forage Oakland - Oakland
Village Harvest - San Jose
San Francisco Glean
Fallen Fruit - Los Angeles
Ghost Town Farm
City Slicker Farms
East Bay Pictures International
Ever thought of donating the unused fruit from your very own fruit trees?
If you have any questions or would like to schedule a harvest,
please contact Natasha Boissier at (510) 812-3369 or via e-mail.