Toilet Paper, Fruit Trees, and Local Resilience

By Laura Skelton, Interim Executive Director


If you’ve been to the store in the past few weeks, you’ve surely noticed the shortage of toilet paper. For me, this is a keen reminder of how reliant I am on a supply chain that brings me necessities from far away. This is also a reminder of how important locally produced resources are, especially during emergencies.


The current COVID-19 pandemic particularly highlights just how important it is to maintain local food systems. City Fruit was founded over a decade ago in response to people seeing local fruit trees drop their fruit to the ground, with no one to harvest them. Since that time, City Fruit has moved way beyond harvesting. We now actively manage Seattle’s fruit trees, to ensure they produce as much high-quality fruit as possible. We also encourage planting of new fruit trees, and provide education to fruit tree owners and others. We now have a cadre of trained volunteers who are willing and able to care for the thousands of fruit trees in the city. All of this has built up resilience within our beautiful Seattle community.


Fruit trees are more than a hobby. They are a food source. And our local fruit trees – especially those on public lands in Seattle – provide food that does not depend on changes in the global supply chain. 


This is such a tough time for all of us. Our hearts are with all of you. We are proud to be working on behalf of all our neighbors to ensure that fruit continues to be grown, harvested, and shared right here in Seattle.

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