Right Now in Harvest
The harvest is underway! Make sure to register and authorize your tree by July 31 to participate in the annual harvest.
Frequently Asked Questions
Registering your tree only means you are entering your tree into our database and giving us a more comprehensive view of Seattle's urban fruit tree canopy. After you register tree, you will receive an authorization form on which you can decide if you would like your tree to be included in the 2016 City Fruit harvest. You may also email our Harvest Manager at [email protected] with and he will assist you in donating your tree to the harvest.
Yes! We would still be happy to come harvest your tree as some of this fruit can still be donated (many food banks will offer a bin where people can take as much as they’d like to cook with or process themselves) and even the most pest damaged fruit can be turned into tasty cider.
Go to the Learn section of our website for an extensive list of videos and reference guides on how to safely and organically care for your fruit trees.
The best way to sign up your tree for donation if you have never done so in the past is by registering your tree on our website. After registering your tree, you will automatically receive an authorization form asking if you would like to opt into the 2016 City Fruit harvest. This form will also include a very short questionnaire to better serve our fruit tree donors.
Our paid harvesters tend to pick between the hours of 9am and 2pm in order to align with the hours that food banks generally accept donations. Volunteer harvests take place in the evening (generally around 6:30 pm) but will only take place with advanced approval from tree owners.
In 2014, we expanded our harvest operations to both Ballard and Wallingford. We also harvest in the Phinney Ridge and Greenwood neighborhoods. In West Seattle we harvest from Admiral and Delridge in the north down through Fauntleroy and into White Center. Located in South Seattle we harvest east of I-5 from Mount Baker through Rainer Beach (including Beacon Hill, Columbia City, and Seward Park.)
This year we will also begin expanding our harvest operations into Northeast Seattle (specifically the U-District/Ravenna/Maple Leaf neighborhoods of NE Seattle).
Due to the lack of resources necessary to harvest the entirety of the city and a desire to limit our carbon footprint, we focus on the parts of Seattle that we have found to contain the highest concentration of fruit trees. If you do not live in one of our designated harvest zones, we would very much appreciate if you still registered your tree in order to give us a more comprehensive picture of the scope of the urban fruit tree canopy of Seattle. This will give us a better sense of what parts of the city we should work towards expanding to in the future.
Almost all of the fruit harvested gets donated to local food banks, community organizations, school events, and other non-profits. Last year 40 recipient organizations received a total of over 22,000 lbs of fresh produce. A small portion of the fruit is sold to community programs or local restaurants in order to help expand the harvest each year (last year we moved into Wallingford and Ballard and this year we will also begin harvest operations in parts of NE Seattle!) Some of the largest donor recipients last year were White Center Food Bank, Rainer Valley Food Bank, U-District Food Bank, West Seattle Food Bank, and St. Vincent de Paul.
City Fruit hires paid harvesters in each part of town who harvest the majority of the fruit. We also host volunteer harvests in the evenings that will generally take place every Wednesday and Thursday this coming harvest season.
A few weeks before a tree's estimated ripen period (these predictions are made either by the tree owner or our general sense of when different varieties are ready each year) you will receive an email from our Harvest Manager saying that someone will be by to scout your tree (scouting almost always takes place on Mondays). Depending on the harvester’s assessment, they will then return sometime in the following days or weeks to harvest your tree. Unless expressed by the home owner that advanced warning on the day of harvest is desired, a harvester's second visit may occur without prior notification.
City Fruit is happy to coordinate with you on the quantity of fruit that is picked from your tree. We love to see folks eat and preserve their own fruit! Our goal is to make good use of fruit that would otherwise be left to overripen and go to waste. The best way to indicate to us how much fruit you would like left behind is by taking our pre-season survey. During the harvest season you can also update City Fruit by emailing our Harvest Manager at [email protected].