Urban farmers and surplus fruit in Seattle

 Attention urban farmers (intentional, or not)! Since yesterday’s post about how to donate the surplus fruit from your trees, I came across another option. Barter!

Crop Swap is a new website that facilitates trading between “urban farmers” and it’s not just limited to fruit. Trades can involve things such as eggs, flower bulbs, vegetables, etc.

Here is a link to a story about Crop Swap on the KPLU.org website.

41 Legs Urban Farm in Seattle’s Madison Valley neighborhood is a somewhat similar venture. I haven’t been able to locate much information about 41 Legs — including whether they strictly sell or also barter — but it is a group of at least 3 urban farmers who grow vegetables, raise chickens, ducks, rabbits and a pig! They have a page on Facebook, but not their own website (yet).

On a related note, has anyone else noticed how common it is becoming to find that your neighbors are raising chickens? Recently I have detected at least 3 new coops within a half mile radius of my house. (Roosters are not allowed, by the way, for obvious reasons, but I don’t think that message is being heeded much.)

Perhaps the increase started in August of 2010, when the Seattle Municipal Code was revised to allow city residents to raise up to 8 chickens per household. For a layman’s translation of the ordinance visit the SeattleTilth.org website. Seattle Tilth is another local organization with a mission to “inspire and educate people to grow food organically.”

Here’s a link to another story on a site called Crosscut.com, about a young woman by the name of Nina Finley, who turned her early interest in farming into a reality in her city home.

Whether it is fueled by a desire for eating healthier foods or a need to stretch the shrinking dollar, it seems there is an ever-increasing interest in urban agriculture. Or perhaps farming is just in our nature and we find ways to get back to it even when living in the city.

What about you? Any desire to grow vegetables or raise chickens?

 

Got fruit? Donate surplus fruit from your trees

Wild blackberries

Do you have fruit trees in your yard that produce more than your family can use? Consider donating the surplus fruit to one of the local organizations that will distribute it to needy families. Not only will they distribute the surplus fruit, they will come to your home and harvest it for you! How great is that?

Here is a link to a feature story on KPLU.org that tells you all about once such group called Community Fruit Tree Harvest Projects.

Need more incentive? For a small donation, another non-profit called City Fruit will check your tree to see if it’s healthy and prune it free of charge!

Community Fruit Tree Harvest is another gleaning project sponsored by the anti-poverty group Solid Ground. In their own words, “Solid Ground works to end poverty and undo racism and other oppressions that are root causes of poverty.”

City Fruit is another local organization dedicated to making use of surplus fruit. They urge us to join them in “reclaiming urban fruit!”

The mission of City Fruit is to “promote the cultivation of urban fruit in order to nourish people, build community and protect the climate. We help tree owners grow healthy fruit, provide assistance in harvesting and preserving fruit, promote the sharing of extra fruit, and work to protect urban fruit trees.”

Although the Rotary Club does not harvest fruit and vegetable directly, their Harvest Against Hunger program is dedicated to “Connecting farms, food banks and volunteers for statewide hunger relief.”  The project’s mission is “to secure fresh produce for distribution to thousands of hungry families and individuals throughout Washington State.”

Two more well-known local organizations that work tirelessly to end hunger are Northwest Harvest and Food Lifeline. Again, they do not collect perishable food, but have many other ways you can help your neighbors in need.

If you are a professional educator, here is an organization whose website you should explore. Facing the Future. According to the website, “Facing the Future creates tools for educators that equip and motivate students to develop critical thinking skills, build global awareness and engage in positive solutions for a sustainable future.”

So the next time you step out into your yard and tiptoe around the fruit that is lying on the ground, spoiling, pick up your phone and call one of the groups listed here. Everyone benefits.

Know of other groups such as these? Please mention them in the comments section below.