Thursday, August 5, 2010

Urban harvesting

One balmy evening last week my family joined 200 neighbors for some urban harvesting.

Urban harvesting tries to make sure none of the edible plants dotting cities go to waste. So many folks have the old row of apple trees or such that goes unpicked each year. A local group started up a brand new program in our town modeled after this one in Portland; owners of fruit or nut plants register their trees and vines with the organization. At harvest time, a group of volunteers meets for a picking party. You take home half of what you pick. The other half goes to a local food bank or soup kitchen.

It could be as simple as someone with a single cherry tree in their yard they know won't be harvesting themselves. On the day we participated it was hundreds of gorgeous old, organic blueberry bushes that for whatever reason aren't being used commercially right now.

It was a perfect summer evening. The late-day sun slanted across the field, kids popped berries into their mouths when they thought parents weren't looking, lighthearted laughter came from between the rows. We were pushing up against The Girl's bedtime, so we left fairly early after doing our little bit by picking seven pounds. Lots of the other pickers at the harvest party were still diligently picking as we drove away.  And when the evening was done, over 1,000 pounds of fresh blueberries went to our local food bank, the other 1,000 went home with the satisfied harvesters, and all of it was kept from going to waste. Truly win-win-win.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts with Thumbnails