LifeCycles Fruit Tree Project
Thanks to hundreds of volunteers and a couple of ladders, the Fruit Tree Project harvests apples, cherries, pears, and other fruit from privately owned trees that would otherwise go to waste. We then share the harvest among homeowners, volunteers, food banks, and community organizations within Victoria. A unique aspect of this project is that a portion of the harvest is set aside to make value-added products that help defray our costs.
Last season our fantastic volunteers and tree owners made it possible for us to collect and redistribute over 39,000 lbs of fruit that would have otherwise gone to waste.
The 2012 fruit-picking season is now over. Please join us again next season starting June 2013.
- If you are a TREE OWNER with fruit to share, please use our online form to register your fruit tree(s) for picking from July 1 until October 31.
PLEASE NOTE: We do our very best to accommodate and meet everyone's needs but are not always able to pick every single tree. We will call homeowners to confirm our arrival time if and when a picking team has been arranged to pick your fruit. Thank you for your patience and support for this important and innovative project!
- If you are a VOLUNTEER with a few hours a week to spare between July and the end of October, we will need Fruit Pickers (lots) , Tree Assessors, and Office Volunteers (4 max.).
- If you are a LOCAL BUSINESS, we'd love to talk about how you can support our social entreprise by partnering with us. Check out who we've partnered with already and get in touch with your ideas, especially if you'd like to collaborate on creating a new fruit-based product.
In the 1800s, Victoria was the legendary fruit-growing centre of B.C. The stately old fruit trees in backyards across the city are the legacy of orchards that once flourished in the region's mild climate and fertile soils. The sad part of the story is that the apple has seen its heyday. With our busier lifestyles, few of us find time to cultivate and harvest apple trees and many of Victoria's old apple trees now drop their annual unwanted loads onto someone's lawn. While the wasps and deer gorge on this homegrown fruit, Victorians bring home bags of shiny Granny Smiths shipped from the Okanagan, the US or New Zealand. Such market varieties are chosen for durability and good looks rather than flavour, quality or historical importance. As a result, many varieties that were valued in the past for exceptional texture, taste, good storage ability or tradition are being lost. With them goes centuries of history and careful selection along with our ability to discern and appreciate subtle nuances of their flavours.
The LifeCycles Fruit Tree Project is a celebration of a simpler time when we fed ourselves from our own orchards and gardens, timed the passage of seasons by the ripening of fruit and discussed pie recipes over the fence with our neighbours. Up and picking since 1998, the Fruit Tree Project joined LifeCycles in 1999 and since then we've been transforming backyard fruit trees into a valuable source of food for the community.
The Fruit Tree Project links people who have surplus produce in their yards with people who have the willingness and ability to harvest it and then delivers it to people and community groups that do not have access to fresh produce. Volunteers harvest fruit from private trees that would otherwise go to waste. Fresh cherries, plums, apples, pears and other fruit (or sometimes vegetables) are then distributed through community centres and food banks, and shared among volunteer pickers, tree owners and used in value-added products whose sales help support the Fruit Tree Project.
Fruit Tree Project Harvest Coordinator:
Fruit Tree Project Manager & Social Enterprise Coordinator: