The Greater Seattle Area supports a vast network of public and private orchards, gardening patches, and green spaces. However, various socioeconomic factors can make it challenging for some members of our community to safely and consistently access the resources and health benefits that these spaces provide.
At City Fruit, we believe that nutritious, affordable, and culturally relevant food should be accessible to all. As a food justice organization, we believe in advocating for socially just and environmentally sustainable food production, food distribution, and land stewardship. Supporting the development of local community-led food systems can help to alleviate the harm that industrial agriculture can place on farm workers, rural communities, and the environment.
To guide our work alongside our long-term strategic goals, City Fruit uses the J.E.D.I. framework of Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion.
Seattle’s history is an indigenous one. Justice in our food system means returning traditional lands to the leadership of indigenous nations whenever possible. It also involves supporting historically marginalized communities in leading and participating in our food system.
Nutritious and culturally relevant foods should be accessible to all members of our community. Community members should also have the ability to participate in the planning, growing, and distribution processes of our food system.
Seattle is a diverse city, including but not limited to diversity of ethnic and racial background, spiritual and religious practices, physical and cognitive ability, and gender identity. An awareness of and commitment to supporting diverse perspectives and viewpoints is a critical goal of our work.
To fully support the diversity of people and perspectives within our city, it is important to develop practices that fully and enthusiastically welcome and empower community members. We strive to develop partnerships, communication pathways, and programs that align with this goal.
Defining our language
What is ‘gleaning’?
The USDA defines gleaning as “simply the act of collecting excess fresh foods from farms, gardens, farmers markets, grocers, restaurants, state/county fairs, or any other source in order to provide it to those in need.”
What is a ‘food system’?
The term ‘food system’ is used to describe the pathway that our food takes to get to us — this includes initial planning, planting, growing, harvesting, packaging, shipping and distribution, and purchase and consumption.
What is ‘sustainable’?
City Fruit uses the term ‘sustainable’ when describing goals for how food is grown and distributed within our food system. A sustainable food system is one that strives to eliminate resource waste and environmental damage, but also one that empowers and supports food producers and consumers.
What is ‘organic’?
USDA certified organic foods “are grown and processed according to federal guidelines addressing, among many factors, soil quality, animal raising practices, pest and weed control, and use of additives. Organic producers rely on natural substances and physical, mechanical, or biologically based farming methods to the fullest extent possible” (USDA, 2022).
What is ‘local’?
In the context of City Fruit’s harvest, all fruit is harvested from residential and public orchard fruit trees within the Greater Seattle Area. When distributing fruit, we aim to donate fruit to food banks and meal programs located within 5-miles of where the fruit was harvested. City Fruit partners with local businesses like cideries and bakeries as fruit diversion partners — these businesses are all located within the Greater Seattle Area.
What is ‘food justice’?
The food justice movement recognizes that nutritious, affordable, and culturally-appropriate food should be accessible for all communities. It encourages us to envision land ownership, food production, and food distribution processes that are more socially just and environmentally sustainable.
What is ‘food sovereignty’?
The term ‘food sovereignty’ was originally coined in 1996 by members of the Via Campesina. It is a movement born from farmers, landless and migrant farm workers, fishers, and Indigenous peoples.
What is ‘food apartheid’?
Originally coined by food activist and urban farmer, Karen Washington, ‘food apartheid’ is an alternative to the term ‘food desert.’
What is ‘permaculture’? What is ‘ancestral farming’?
Originally coined by Bill Mollison and David Holmgren, ‘permaculture’ refers to a style and philosophy of agriculture that strives to work with, rather than against, nature. It aims to connect people, land, resources, and the environment together so that growing and food sharing practices are sustainable. However, it is important to note that the term ‘permaculture’ was developed in 1978. The knowledges and philosophies that define permaculture have Indigenous foundations and often continue to be utilized without proper recognition of this origin.