And the City Fruit Green Ribbon Awards go to...
As another year is coming to an end, our team has been reminiscing about another fruitful season we had, and sharing our favorite moments from the year with each other. There were too many good memories to list, but we thought there were a handful of individuals and groups in particular that stood out for going above and beyond to make our work possible and strengthen our fruit sharing community. Then we thought, "why should we keep those good stories to ourselves?"
So, we would like to present the very first City Fruit Green Ribbon Awards!
Best Netted Trees: Tree Owner Denny
We've been working with Denny since 2015. Over the last several years, Denny has netted both his Liberty and Fiesta apple trees. We harvested 800 lbs of beautiful apples that were shared across the city at food banks and Fruit for All Pop-ups. Being able to distribute fresh, pest-free fruit to the community is central in the work we do during the harvest. Folks are always excited when they see beautiful fruit on display, especially when they find out it comes from our own neighborhoods. Often times, produce at food banks leans closer to the over-ripened end. It's important that everyone has access to fresh picked local produce. Thank you, Denny!
Best Backyard Harvest: Italian Plum Harvest in Sewerd Park
Much thanks to our volunteers who helped harvest plums in Flip's backyard orchard earlier this summer! We received an email from the tree owner Flip who invited us to harvest plums in his backyard. Since the plums were already quite ripe, we quickly scheduled an impromptu harvest. Luckily about a half dozen volunteers were able to join our harvesters with just a one day’s notice. When we arrived, we were welcome into Flip’s backyard oasis where he has been caring for dozens of Italian plum trees that were originally planted by the previous occupants decades ago. We spent a few hours in his urban backyard orchard and, with everyone's help, we harvested close to 500 lbs of plums! Special thank you to Johnny Cash (Flip's dog) for being a great host too!
Best Volunteer: Ross
Ross is a fruit tree enthusiast, a longtime City Fruit volunteer, and a great friend of our organization. We met Ross at a cider pressing event on Queen Anne a few years ago, and he’s volunteered with us at many work parties since then. In 2018 he took his interest in orchard stewardship and community service to the next level by enrolling in the Master Fruit Tree Steward Program. Earlier this year, we needed someone to host some of the Pizza and Pruning Work Parties, and Ross was more than willing to fill in and share the pruning techniques and knowledge he learned in the program. What better way to teach and inspire fellow fruit tree enthusiasts than to have a MFTS lead the pruning work parties! Thank you, Ross, for continuing to be our trusty friend and supporter, and for being an exemplary steward for others to follow!
Are you interested in becoming a MFTS and playing an active role in caring for our city’s fruit trees like Ross? Then you can fill out the application HERE. You can also read our Q & A with Ross HERE for more inspirations!
Best Fruit for All Pop-up: High Point Farm Stand
Fruit for All Pop-ups are always some of the highlights of our year, because we get to meet our members and neighbors, and see the smiles on their faces when they see our fruit. But one Pop-up in particular, at the High Point Farm Stand on September 4th, stood out for us this year because it was the day that so many things that we love came together – many City Fruit members showed up to pick up their Fruit for All CSA shares; we got to join the High Point Farm Stand and share our fruit with their gardeners and customers; and one of our community partners, ROAR (Roots of All Roads), also joined the festivities with their own farm stand (and a bicycle-powered smoothie blender!).
The day got even better later on. Just when we were beginning to wonder if we had enough Italian plums to last until the end of the market, the tree owner Dan showed up with a box full of beautiful Italian plums he picked in his backyard! Earlier that day he emailed us to let us know that he had some extra Italian plums that he wanted to donate. He borrowed his company truck and drove all the way to the High Point Farm Stand during his break from work, and saved the day with his gorgeous Italian plums for everyone. Thank you, Dan!
Most Prolific House: Steven
Prolific fruit tree owner and City Fruit member Steven has a wide array of fruit trees including apples, Bosc and Comice pears, and Italian and Satsuma plums. We visited his home three times this year to harvest the plums and pears. The beautiful red-fleshed satsumas were my personal favorite from this year's harvest, and we got to share some of them with fellow City Fruit members at a Fruit for All Pop-up too. We didn't come across many satsumas this year. It's a great feeling being able to introduce a wide variety of fruits that grow in our city.
Best Corporate Partner: EVO
EVO has shown outstanding support and followed through with their involvement with City Fruit this year! Not a one-and-done kind of organization, they went above and beyond by signing up for three work parties and, on top of it all, donated $500 to City Fruit! We love working with EVO for a plethora of reasons. From their head honcho to invaluable staff members, all levels of EVO's leadership teams continually show up to help. They share a like-minded dedication to giving back to the community they reside in. EVO is located on Stone Way and 35th so it was awesome to see their desire to engage in their local orchard on the Burke Gilman Trail. To have a Corporate Partner that is authentic and committed to volunteering with City Fruit contributes huge value to our volunteering program. So shout out to EVO and their phenomenal crew for making a difference in their community!