Localization Cherry Tree. CC photo from Flickr user suzannelong

Published on August 10th, 2009 | by Becky Striepe

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Toronto’s Residential Fruit-Picking Program


[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?




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About the Author

Hi there! I'm Becky Striepe, a green crafter and vegan foodie living in Atlanta, Georgia with my husband and two cats. My mission is to make eco-friendly crafts and vegan food accessible to anyone who wants to give them a go. If you like my work, you can also find me on Twitter, Facebook, and .



  • http://rhondawinter.com Rhonda Winter

    This is super. My neighbors and I have been doing this informally in Bayview for awhile. Last month we picked over 25 gallons of fresh plums from a retired school teacher’s backyard, and gave them all away within an hour.
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/rhondawinter/3706381996/

  • http://glueandglitter.com Becky

    That’s awesome, Rhonda! I’d love to do this in the Atlanta area. There are lots of fig trees around.

  • http://neighborhoodharvest.org Josh

    We are doing a similar thing in Ashland, Oregon. Here is a list of other similar projects:

    http://www.villageharvest.org/harvestingdirectory.htm

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