On Saturday morning, thanks to the help of some volunteers and a great nonprofit called Food Forward, we experienced for the first time, the act of fruitanthropy. Fruitanthrophy is the picking, donating or distributing of fruit for humanitarian purposes. The house that Matt and I rent is graced with two huge, beautiful orange trees that have probably been growing there since the early 1950’s when the house was built. I love the springtime smell of orange blossoms heavily perfuming the air, and the cool, thick shade that their lush green foliage provides, but in our small 2 person family, sadly, most of the actual oranges go to waste.
Food Forward is a non-profit that picks unneeded fruit from people’s trees all over Southern California and donates them to local food banks. With our two massive trees, there’s no way Matt and I could even eat 1/10 of what the trees produce. They came out Saturday morning with their van and ladders, fruit picking tools (I have no idea what those are called!) and lots of empty boxes to collect our backyard bounty.
It was so much fun watching the people ascend up into the trees and come back with a basket full of oranges. The harvest took about an hour, and talk about an easy way to give back to our community – those oranges were definitely not being used to their full potential, and now, the fruit of our trees can feed lots of hungry people.
At the end of the pick on Saturday, the team had harvested over 350 pounds of oranges! They separated the oranges from the stems and leaves and boxed them up for their journey to the food banks. 350 pounds goes a long way towards feeding hungry members of a community. Even though I wasn’t out there pulling the oranges from the trees, it felt so good to know that we were helping out, especially since food is such a near and dear part of my life.
If you have fruit trees in your yard that you aren’t “using”, I encourage you to research some organizations near your house that could help you harvest your fruit. Your trees will be healthy and happy, you’ll help feed hungry families, and you’ll help out a community in times of need. It’s a win win situation! To find out more about Food Forward and how you can help, visit their website at foodforward.org.