The 2019 Great Seattle Fruit Harvest is (almost) in the books (unless someone has more late season fruit – kiwis or persimmons, anyone?)!
It has been another busy, fun-filled, and rewarding season, thanks to all of you who participated by inviting our crew to harvest your fruit, filling up the U-Pick Harvest Boxes, showing up at the Fruit for All Pop-ups, volunteering and helping distribute the fruit! It’s true, sharing fruit is a community effort! How did YOU participate in the Great Seattle Fruit Harvest this year?
As we shared in our 5 Year Plan, one of our goals for the coming years is to ground our work deeper in our community. With that in mind, our focus this year was to share the fruit in the ways that are more meaningful to our community instead of simply increasing the quantity of the fruit that we harvest. And here are some ways we were able to make progress towards that goal this year:
- Actively searched for additional community partners whose missions align with City Fruit’s, focusing on equity and inclusivity.
- Started working with new meal program partners who can turn less-than-perfect fruit into value-added healthy meals for their customers.
- Strengthened the relationships with our community partners by listening and volunteering at the partner sites to better understand their needs and operations.
- Expanded alternative, creative ways to share the fruit with more community members, including extended Fruit for All Pop-ups, shifting more fruit sales to community partner businesses, and a collaboration with a youth group farm stand.
- Provided more neighborhood groups with fruit for community cider pressing.
In the end, we were able to share a higher percentage of the fruit with our community than previous years. And, despite the increasing pest damage that included winter moth infestation, only 1,000 lbs out of nearly 37,000 lbs of the fruit was composted. That’s how we put Seattle’s fruit to its best and fullest use!