If you’ve ever looked at all the lush fruit trees around our neighborhood and thought “it’s crazy that there are people who can’t afford good, fresh produce while beautiful fruit goes to waste”, here’s your chance to do something about it.
Lettuce Link is a program run by Solid Ground in Wallingford that, among other things, coordinates a city-wide team of volunteers to harvest fruit from the trees of willing homeowners. Sadie Beauregard, Lettuce Link’s Harvest Coordinator, gave us the scoop:
Seattle is blessed to have a slew of volunteer run fruit harvest programs that work with homeowners to make sure fruit is harvested and donated to places that can use it – often food banks, meals programs, shelters, and community organizations.
In fact – organized fruit harvesting for donation in Seattle began right here in Wallingford! In 2005, a VISTA volunteer with Lettuce Link of Solid Ground worked with Wallingford residents to start Lettuce Link’s Community Fruit Tree Harvest. That year, volunteers harvested around 300 lbs of fruit. Fruit harvesting has continued to grow – last season, volunteers with Lettuce Link’s Community Fruit Tree Harvest picked and donated 19,600 lbs of fruit in neighborhoods around Seattle.
There are now several organizations harvesting and donating around the city – Lettuce Link’s Community Fruit Tree Harvest (Wallingford, Greenlake, Ballard, NE Seattle, Capitol Hill, Central Seattle, South Park), City Fruit (Phinney/Greenwood, Crown Hill, SE Seattle), and Community Harvest of Southwest Seattle (West Seattle). City Fruit and Community Harvest of Southwest Seattle also offer classes and other resources around fruit tree care.
Fruit harvests depend on community support and fantastic volunteers. Our volunteers scout for trees, connect with homeowners, harvest fruit, and deliver fruit to Seattle food banks. For interested Wallingford volunteers, the Community Fruit Tree Harvest has a volunteer orientation on Wednesday, July 28, 6:30pm – 7:30pm at Solid Ground (1501 N 45th St). Unable to attend an orientation, or have questions? Contact Sadie at [email protected] or 206-694-6751.
Fruit to donate? please contact Seattle Tilth’s Garden Hotline at 206-633-0224 or [email protected]. We pick apples, pears, Asian pears, plums, figs, and grapes.
Fun fact: Last season, Wallingford volunteers harvested and donated 3476 lbs of fruit from 33 sites in Wallingford.
We’ve got a feeling we’d be a Blueberries for Sal-type harvester. One for the bucket (ku-plink!), one for me (munch, munch).