The annual Summerland Fruit Tree Project has begun its eighth year collecting unwanted fruit in the town. The main goal of the project, organized by the Summerland Asset Development Initiative, is to collect the unharvested fruit that goes to waste each year and distribute it within the community.
After each pick, the fruit is divided equally among the volunteers, the generous donators of the fruit trees and an organization within the community. Last year close to 5,000 pounds of fruit was picked and donated to many different organizations, including the Summerland Boys and Girls Club, schools and recreation centres.
Over the eight years of this project more than 80,000 pounds of fruit has been collected and distributed.
Due to the slow blooming of this year’s fruit only a few sites have been picked, with 600 pounds of cherries collected so far. This fruit has been donated to the Summerland Seniors’ Village, Angus Place, Kiwanis Place, the food bank and Parkdale Place. The group is looking forward to the upcoming fruit including plums, apples and pears.
The project would not be possible without the support of the volunteers who come out to each pick.
“Many people believe that to make a difference you have to do something really big and overseas, but that is not the case. Making a difference in your own community should take priority. It does not take much to help out in the town you’re living in and this program is another thing that everyone can help out with to make a change,” said Harish Anand, a SADI summer student.
“We are always looking for more people to register for this program,” said Anand. “The more people that sign up directly affects how much fruit we can pick and donate this year. You do not need to own an orchard to sign up for this program, even if you have one tree that would be appreciated.”
To register your tree or volunteer with this program, contact SADI at 250-494-9722.