It can be difficult to harvest the copious amounts of peaches, pears and apples that come to bear before the ground is littered with over-ripe fruit, making yard maintenance a nightmare. In many cities, fruit share programs have started “cropping” up to help homeowners with this problem, while at the same time cutting food waste by providing food for those in need.
The Green Urban Lunch Box (GULB) is a local non-profit that promotes urban agriculture, and their Fruit Share program is a great option for home owners along the Wasatch Front looking for help harvesting their fruit trees. It’s easy to get started!
Fruit tree owners can visit their website at www.thegreenurbanlunchbox.com, and click on the “What We Do” tab to register their fruit trees. Even if you only have one small fruit tree to register, that’s ok! The Fruit Share program matches harvests with the right amount of volunteers so that whether you have one tree or 20 trees, GULB is able to help!
Once the fruit tree is registered, GULB will work with the homeowner to set a date for their trees harvest, so that your tree is harvested at the fruit’s peak ripeness. Volunteers who have registered with GULB will then get notifications for the date and location for the harvest, the type of fruit being harvested, and how many volunteers are needed. This way you’ll have all the help necessary to have your trees fully harvested.
GULB provides the tools needed for fruit harvesting, so homeowners and volunteers don’t need to worry about ladders, pickers and bags. The fruit that’s harvested is categorized into A, B and C grades, depending on the condition and ripeness of the fruit, so that the best fruit goes to those who will eat it, and the less desirable fruit can be used as feed for animals and mulch. This way nothing goes to waste.
After all of the trees are harvested, GULB weighs the A and B grade fruit, splitting the harvest into thirds; one third goes to the homeowner, another third goes to the volunteers, and the remaining portion goes to GULB for distribution at senior center farmers markets, food pantries, and other hunger relief efforts.
Participating in this local fruit share program is easy and helps cut down on food waste, while also keeping your yard free of rotting fruit. All you need to do is sign up your trees, and GULB will do the rest! At the end of the harvest you’ll have enough fruit for snacking, cooking, canning and dehydrating!