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 4 ways: among homeowners, volunteers, food banks & community organizations within Victoria and also with the project.  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. 

This past season our fantastic volunteers and tree owners made it possible for us to collect and redistribute close to 30,000 lbs of fruit that would have otherwise gone to waste.

Thanks so much to everyone for all of your help and see you again in July! 


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.).

New volunteers: Use our online form to sign up.
Registered volunteers:Sign up for Picks

 

 

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 alreadyand get in touch with your ideas, especially if you'd like to collaborate on creating a new fruit-based product.

 

Background

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.

 

Contacts


Fruit Tree Project Coordinator: 

Jenny McCartney: jenny@lifecyclesproject.ca

Harvest Coordinator: 

Tim Fryatt: fruittree@lifecyclesproject.ca