Over the past year, I’ve been met with some questions on how our work finds relevance in a densifying city. At a time, when every square foot of land offers the potential for us to create more space for more people, it can be hard to understand why fruit trees also deserve a place in our city’s vision for growth.
To us, the answer is so simple….
As Seattle continues to densify and seeks to create a more equitable and inclusive society, fruit trees become even more important, not less.
Because, as cities become more dense, we become further disconnected from our environment, our food production, and even one another.
This work is not “just” about fruit, it is about the power that fruit has to connect us to land,
those connections to food, and those connections to our community.
In 2019, we’ll be making some exciting shifts and growth:
- More Fruit for All’s! Last year, members received free fruit bags at our Fruit for All pop-up’s. This year, we’re hosting more events and opening membership to more people, so that we can share Seattle’s harvest with even more neighbors
- Increase fruit tree registrations: Tree registration is the first step in enabling City Fruit to harvest a tree and share its fruit. We’re working to get even more tree owners registered, in communities across the city!
- Dig into pest prevention: Did you know pests are getting worse in Seattle? We’re seeing more types of pests, hurting more types of fruit. 2019 is going to be all about making pest prevention the most glamorous part of fruit production (ok…maybe not the MOST glamorous)
- Triple the size of our youth programming: We’re rolling out partnerships with three times as many partners in 2019, which means three times as many underserved youth will connect to our city’s public orchards, share in the harvest, and receive certification as Master Fruit Tree Stewards.
- Embed our vision for a Seattle Harvest in Seattle policy: Since our launch ten years ago, we have worked closely with partners across city government. But, we need to grow deeper in this work – we want to see Fruit Trees and Fruit Sharing integrated into policies and programming across the city! After all, connections to our city’s land, food, and communities helps build a stronger city for us all.
- And invest more in our team: This is the one that I’m most proud of and which doesn’t get talked about much in non-profit circles. Thanks to the generous support of our donors, members, and partners, we are heading into our second decade of work with a strong enough foundation to offer health benefits and much-needed raises to staff.
We’ll also be working with our community and our partners to better define the future for fruit trees in a changing urban environment. Just imagine….
- Fruit trees in planter boxes
- Fruit trees in public right away’s
- Fruit trees (dare I say, orchards) on top of corporate headquarters
It’s going to be a big year! I hope you’ll join in the good work of putting Seattle’s collective orchard to its best and fullest use, so that everyone shares in the value of fruit.
Volunteer to help protect Seattle’s public orchards and collect the harvest
Become a Member to share in the harvest
Donate to share the harvest with neighbors and communities across Seattle
With much gratitude,
Carrie Ferrence, City Fruit Executive Director