If you’ve been reading my columns for a while, you’ve seen the name Fruit Share pop up every now and then. I discovered them last year, whilst bemoaning the waste of apples in my backyard.
Fruit Share Manitoba was started three years ago by a lovely woman named Getty Stewart, who was appalled at the waste she saw happening in backyards in her neighbourhood of South Osborne. She organized a few friends to pick fruit, and things went on from there.
So how is Fruit Share doing now? It currently has 441 registered fruit owners and 530 registered volunteers. Those dedicated volunteers have so far been on 46 harvests and have harvested 2,762 pounds of rhubarb, strawberries, raspberries, sour cherries, apricots, crab apples and apples. One third of that bounty goes to the homeowner, one third to the volunteers, and one third to charity — so far we have donated fresh fruit to 18 charitable organizations.
New chapters have started up in Brandon and Steinbach, and they are also in full swing. There are rumblings in Gimli and Dauphin as well. So exciting!
Fruit Share is very grateful to its funders and partners, including The Winnipeg Foundation, Assiniboine Credit Union, United Way, the Manitoba Alternative Food Research Alliance, as well as Healthy Together Now in Steinbach and Healthy Brandon Canadian Community Economic Development Network (CCEDNet) in Brandon.
As of this spring, I have the honour to be the volunteer blog publisher for Fruit Share. You can read all about our work at the website fruitshare.ca The blog includes recipes, interviews with volunteers, gardening information, pictures and just a general sense of joy in prairie fruit.
So if you are looking out your window at your trees and bushes and wondering how you are going to deal with all that fruit, or if you would like to go on a pick yourself, hesitate no more.
Visit the website at fruitshare.ca or call 204-272-8520. You won’t be sorry.