Urban fruit makes most of windfall

Food Action0

Here is some information from the Portland Fruit Tree Project

Portland fruit tree project at workThe Portland Fruit Tree Project is an all-volunteer, grassroots organization based in Portland, Oregon.

Mission: Our mission is to increase equal access to fresh, healthy food and foster stronger communities by empowering neighbors to share in the bounty and care of urban fruit and nut trees. We strive to increase community knowledge-sharing and self-sufficiency through education in food preservation and fruit tree cultivation.

History: Created in 2006 as the ‘Neighborhood Fruit Tree Project’, we began organizing in the Humboldt and King neighborhoods of North/Northeast Portland. Soon, people from all over the city started contacting us, wanting to to get involved in their own communities.
In our second year, we changed the name to ‘Portland Fruit Tree Project’ and now include trees and volunteers from all over Portland.

What we accomplished in 2007:

  • In 8 harvesting parties, we were joined by 132 volunteers, who helped us harvest fruit from 56 trees at 21 sites around the city.
  • Together we harvested over 3400 pounds of fruit that would have otherwise gone to waste!
  • Half of the fruit went home with volunteers, and half was distributed to people in need through local food pantries
  • Held 2 hands-on workshops in tree pruning and food preservation.

Our Programs

Fruit Tree Registry
Need help harvesting your tree? Want to share your fruit with people in need? We can help!
Our database & tree map includes hundreds of trees whose owners want to share the bounty!

Harvesting Parties
We bring neighbors together to pick fruit, enjoy fresh air, physical activity, and take home free produce! 50% of harvested fruit goes to local food banks.

Group Harvests
Working with community partners (social service agencies, etc) we coordinate harvesting parties for organized groups of low-income individuals.

Tree Care Workshops
Learn how to keep your tree healthy and productive! Our ‘pruning parties’ are hands-on opportunities to learn basic methods of tree pruning and care. 

Fruit Preservation Workshops
Hands-on ’preservation parties’ teach the joy and safe practices of fruit preservation. 
Canning, drying, and freezing can make summer’s bounty last year-round!

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