Every year, thousands of pounds of fruit fall to the ground and rot, creating a public health hazard and a waste management problem. Harvesting the fruit and delivering it to those who need it is a win-win situation – and Community Fruit Tree Harvest (CFTH) does just that. We harvest fruit in Seattle from July to October each year and deliver it to over 63 organizations, including food banks, meal programs, shelters and senior centers.
In 2012, CFTH volunteers harvested more than 13,000 pounds of fruit (apples, Asian pears, cherries, grapes, pears, plums, kiwis and raspberries); see our 2012 Final Report for more details. Harvesting this fruit depends on donors and volunteers like you!
Check out this video interview with 2010/11 Harvest Against Hunger VISTA, Molly Woodring, describing her work with the Community Fruit Tree Harvest.
Become a Volunteer Harvest Leader!
Lead 1 to 2 fruit harvests per week and ensure fruit is donated to local food banks and meals programs.
Other Volunteer Opportunities:
During harvest season, Community Fruit Tree Harvest needs volunteers to help with the following tasks:
- “Scout” trees in your neighborhood to see if they are ripe before sending volunteers to harvest.
- Harvest at scheduled work parties.
- Be “on call” to harvest fruit in your neighborhood. (An email will go out to the volunteers in a particular neighborhood when a tree there is ripe. Available volunteers will make arrangements for picking.)
- Provide garage storage for ladders, picking buckets, and/or harvested fruit.
- Deliver harvested fruit to food banks, meal programs and low-income apartments.
- Meet with staff at recipient organizations to determine how to best serve their needs when donating fruit.
If you are a new volunteer or have not applied in the past, fill out a Fruit Tree Harvest Volunteer Application and return it to email@example.com.
Our volunteers will pick apples, cherries, grapes, pears and plums that are still on the tree/vine and free of pesticides, disease and preferably worms. Please note that since we are a volunteer-based effort, we will try our best to meet fruit harvesting requests but cannot guarantee it. Also, we generally only have capacity to harvest trees 25 feet high or shorter.
Fruit Donor Survey: Please fill out this short online form to give us information about your fruit trees.
CFTH organizes harvests in the following neighborhoods:
~NE Seattle, NW Seattle (except Phinney, Greenwood,
Crown Hill), Capitol Hill, Central District, Leschi,
Madrona, Magnolia, Montlake and Queen Anne.
~For Phinney Ridge, Greenwood, Crown Hill, SE Seattle,
Colman Park and W Seattle, please contact City Fruit.
We can only accept fruit that is pesticide-free and in good condition. To donate fruit from your tree, call Seattle Tilth’s Garden Hotline at 206.633.0224 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Useful Fruit Harvest Documents: