About the Blog:

Guelph Politico is locally sourced and dedicated to covering the political and cultural scene in the City of Guelph. Est. 2008.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Guelphite Appleseed

This is from a press release I got about the Appleseed Collective, an interesting project given recent concerns about food safety and quality. And though it's late, I find it a timely addition given the fact that the new documentary Food Inc is playing at the Bookshelf Cinema this week.


The Guelph Fruit Tree Project is one of several food security projects organized by the Appleseed Collective. Since 2006, the Appleseed Collective has been making use of the abundant food sources in the city, and have helped many people access free, healthy food. Now in our fourth year, we are working on expanding and improving our projects.

With the Fruit Tree Project, we register under-used fruit trees on private property, and then harvest the thousands of pounds of fruit with volunteers, and distribute it to various organizations. Some fruit is also used in free workshops that we organize on canning and other food preserving skills, and some is turned into value-added products for fundraising.

The fruit harvested through the Fruit Tree Project enjoys all the food catchwords of the day – local, fresh, organic – and on top of that, it’s free. “There's been a lot of emphasis recently on eating local, and there are a lot of fruit trees no one knows about that aren’t sprayed and produce beautiful fruit that just drops,” says Olivia Brown, a volunteer with the Appleseed Collective.

Currently the Appleseed Collective has access to more than 30 trees within city limits, and several orchards out of town. Most of the trees are apple, but there are pear, cherry, plum, mulberry, crabapple, and grapevines. Organizations on the receiving end include Wyndham House, Our Place, the Shelldale Center, several neighbourhood groups, the Guelph Food Bank, the Campus Food Bank, Guelph Union of Tenants and Supporters, the Welcome In Drop In Center, and more.

The Appleseed Collective is looking to expand our database of trees, volunteers, and recipient organizations. We are looking for members of the public with fruit or nut trees that could be made available, and we are also looking for volunteers and recipient organizations.

Harvesting all the fruit we have access to has been a challenge in past years due to our lack of a consistent means of transportation. This year we are seeking the donation of a truck or van for the purposes of transporting volunteers and fruit. This would dramatically increase our ability to ensure tens of thousands of pounds of fruit does not go to waste. If anyone can help us with such
a donation, it would greatly assist us and the many families who would benefit from our projects.

The Appleseed collective can be reached at hello@appleseedcollective.org More information can be found at our website, www.appleseedcollective.org

More on the Appleseed Collective:

The Appleseed Collective is a Guelph-based organization working to create more lasting food security and social justice. In other words, we are working to create more access to affordable, healthy, local food, and to help people re-learn food skills that lead to self-sufficiency. Since 2006, we have:

- organized dozens of workshops on canning, seed saving, fermenting,
identifying edible and medicinal wild plants, efficient garden design, and more.
- harvested and distributed thousands of pounds of fruit to people in need that otherwise would have rotted.
- organized spring seed exchanges for the past three years, enabling access to free vegetable seeds for people’s gardens.
- been involved in numerous plantings of edible plants and fruit trees in public spaces along the Speed and Eramosa rivers,
- helped start several community gardens.
- And we are always working on cultivating stronger alliances with others working in the food security and social justice sectors.

Until this year, we have always been a completely volunteer-run organization, with people pitching in when they have time. In the winter of 2009 we received a small grant to go towards one organizer, but essentially we remain volunteer-run.

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