Orchard Work Parties are back! Plus, meet our new team member: Tiare

Oct 20th, 2020

By lisa

One of the most asked questions at City Fruit over austin_cleaning_tools.jpgthe last several months was, “can I volunteer”?

We heard you. Loud and clear.

This year has been an undeniably tough year. Many of us have been yearning for opportunities to do something positive and constructive to help the community. And if it involves spending time outdoors? Even better. Immensely.

But, of course, the safety of our volunteers, staff, and community is always our top priority. It was clearly not possible to host any work parties in the spring since it is quite difficult to social distance while netting large trees. Volunteer harvests were also not an option during the summer because most summer varieties come from private homes where social distancing would be challenging.

So we waited. We waited for apples in public orchards to ripen, and for Seattle Parks and Recreatin to give us the green light to move forward with work parties with small groups of 5 or less, in accordance with current safety protocols. And now we’re back!

We have already hosted over half a dozen Orchard Work Parties since late September. Each work party is limited to 5 volunteers. All tools are cleaned before and after each event, and each tool is assigned to one person for the entirety of the event. And, of course, social distancing. It does require a lot of safety precautions to host work parties nowadays, but we are still having a lot of fun and getting work done! In September, we harvested hundreds of pounds of apples at Amy Yee Orchard and Danny Woo Community Garden, and donated them to our community partners. Now the harvest season is winding down, the work has shifted to orchard clean up. We have been picking up fruit that fell on the ground. Damaged but still consumable apples are pressed for cider, and others are composted to keep the orchards clean! 

All the remaining fall work parties are already completely full. Thank you everyone who signed up for the volunteer shifts! You can register as a volunteer at www.cityfruit.org/volunteer-city-fruit to receive announcements regarding future volunteer opportunities with City Fruit.

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Meet our new Community Growth and Impact Manager, Tiare!

tiare.jpgThose of you who have already volunteered with us this fall probably met Tiare – our new Community Growth and Impact Manager. Tiare joined our team in September, and she’s in charge of coordinating volunteer work parties, as well as designing our education programs. She hails from the island of Oahu, Hawaii, and is also an Urban Environmental Education masters student at Antioch University, where she is hoping to learn how to be a more equity-minded and community-rooted educator. You can reach Tiare at [email protected].