Monday, June 13, 2011

Don't Let Good Fruit Go Bad

Do you have fruit trees in your backyard? Do you only use some of the fruit and would love the rest to be used by someone else? Or does time get away from you sometimes and suddenly the fruit is rotting on the ground? We have a solution!

CAN is working with Del Norte 4-H to develop a Community Gleaning Project. Modeled after many successful programs like the Illinois Valley Gleaning Project, Food for People's Gleaning work, and many others around the country.

Gleaning is traditionally associated with farm fields, with gleaners harvesting grain and produce left behind after the farm's harvest is over. Especially in machine-harvested fields, there is often a great deal of food left behind that will just be plowed under if it is not gleaned. But gleaners can also harvest food grown in home gardens or backyard orchards. This is where CAN and 4-H are targeting.

If you have a few fruit trees in your backyard and don't pick or use all the fruit, please consider donating it to CAN's food bank and other critical venues for distribution. It's easy! Just call Connor at CAN at 464-9190 ext. 119 or 4-H at 464-4711 to "register" your fruit trees. You can also email We will map your trees onto a registry. When your fruit is almost ripe, let us know and we will schedule a harvest team to come pick and distribute the fruit. (Veggies are also welcome, so consider Planting a Row for the Hungry! We'll still come pick.) In return, you will receive a thank you letter including information about your donation for your tax records. You'll also have the satisfaction of knowing that local families are eating healthier because of you.

Join the fun! Become part of the Community Gleaning Project either by registering your trees or signing up to be part of a harvesting team later in the summer or fall. If you are part of a youth group or organization that would like to field a harvesting team, please let us know at any of the contact information listed above. The more the merrier!

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