[Cherry Tree. Creative Commons photo from Suzanne Long]
Not Far From the Tree is a Toronto program that focuses on harvesting fruit from local trees in residential areas for the good of the community!
The mission of their fruit-picking program is to:
…pick fruit from trees that would otherwise go to waste. We help fruit tree owners make use of the abundance of fruit that their trees offer by dispatching teams of volunteers to harvest it for them. One third goes to the fruit tree owners, another third goes to the volunteers for their labour, and the final third is distributed (by bicycle or cart) to community organizations in the neighbourhood who can make good use of the fresh fruit.
On top of the fruit-picking program, Not Far From the Tree also has teamed up with local group Growing for Green to put together a community orchard in a public park!
What a fantastic program! Any time that you get community members involved in gathering fresh food, you have a great opportunity to educate folks on eating healthy and locally and to help them connect with the environment. Have you guys heard of any groups like this in other cities?