Seattle may be the only urban environment in the U.S. that can still boast having an extensive network of orchards containing an assortment of heirloom varieties planted by early settlers to the region.Audrey Lieberworth, Seattle's Orchards: A Historic Legacy Meets Modern Sustainability
City Fruit promotes the cultivation of urban fruit in order to nourish people, build community, and protect the climate.
Urban fruit trees are a valuable community resource, yet often fruit goes unused because people are not sure when to harvest it, how to best use it, or they are put off by damage caused by preventable disease and pests. We are reclaiming the urban orchard, showing people how to harvest what they need, and to share the rest with others. We help tree owners grow healthy fruit, provide assistance in harvesting and preserving fruit, promote the sharing of extra fruit, and work to protect urban fruit trees.
Conservation: Conserve fruit trees on public and private properties, and document historical orchards.
Preservation: Preserve and protect the urban tree canopy, plant more fruit trees on public and private properties, and map existing fruit trees.
Stewardship: Improve the care of fruit trees, and reduce the impact of fruit pests and diseases using non-toxic methods.
Harvest: Increase the amount of fruit harvested by supporting harvesting groups, develop the capacity of neighborhoods to harvest, and encourage tree owners to harvest their fruit.
Use and share fruit: Educate local groups and individuals on how to preserve fruit, explore the income-generating potential of urban fruit, and effectively link those who have fruit with those who need it.
Build community: Build and strengthen connections within community groups through the planting, stewardship, harvest, and preservation of fruit.
City Fruit started in late 2008 when Gail Savina called together a group of like-minded people who were interested in trying to create something more for Seattle's urban orchard. City Fruit was founded to find a better approach that manages this incredible resource holistically, focusing on education, stewardship, food policy, and sustainability, in addition to the harvesting and distribution of the fruit.
From that initial meeting, we created a mission, secured a fiscal sponsorship from the Phinney Neighborhood Association, and got to work. In the following years, City Fruit grew from a dedicated group of volunteers to an independent non-profit organization with over 300 members and a staff of five located in Beacon Hill's El Centro de la Raza building.
Learn more about our impact