Remember how a bunch of volunteers came and harvested our orange trees a few months ago? Well, today we gave back to our community and this time, we were the harvesters! Food Forward LA was hosting their annual “Big Pick” at my university, CSUN, and today alongside 298 other volunteers, Matt and I helped harvest close to 15,000 pounds of oranges that were donated to Southern California Food Banks.
Here’s a few thoughts about today’s act of volunteerism:
1) Orange Picking is hard work. I have a new appreciation for the people that pick my food. After an hour of arching my arms and neck up towards the sky and pulling on the flexi-rake thing to try and pluck down oranges, I was tired, and feeling lazy. Thankfully, some free coffee and swell tunes put the swing back in my step in no time.
2) Hard work is always, always worth it when there’s a reward at the end (there usually is). Today the reward was knowing that four simple hours of our lives resulted in the full tummies of families across Los Angeles.
3) The smell of citrus, tangy and sweet, is one of the best on earth. It’s impossible not to breathe in deep as the crisp, aromatic smell of orange juice wafts by you.
4) Stepping on rotten oranges is fun. ‘Nuff said. They pop like a water balloon under your shoe – and hey, they’ll compost faster if they’re broken down. Step on it!
5) Matt has astounding climbing abilities. He scurried up the trees like a monkey and filled his orchard bag in record time, as I jealously looked on from the floor.
6) If you’re harvesting tree fruit, you just might get hit on the head. As I pulled down an orange, another fell next to it and landed right on my noggin. THUD. I’m going to consider it good luck.
If you’re in the LA area, you really should consider volunteering a few hours of your time to Food Forward. Sunshine, oranges and helping people – what’s not to love? Till ‘next time – get your vitamin C – and have an orangetastic day!