Another year behind us and another bountiful harvest season has come and gone! 2018 marks five full years since the start of the Gleaning Abundance Program and our numbers are pretty impressive – over 100,000 lbs of fruit harvested and shared throughout the community since 2013! Our impact is more than just statistics though – we know that our work makes a difference in many small, but intangible ways, from the appreciation shown by homeowners knowing their fruit will be harvested and put to good use to the delight of recipients when we show up with boxes of the fresh-picked fruit.
One of the greatest joys for me, as the GAP coordinator for the past five years, is the sense of community that has been created. I know a lot of our members have made connections with fellow gleaners, and I find it so gratifying when I go to a harvest and realize a lot of the crew already know each other. Some of them have made friends and get together outside of GAP activities. Another thing that I really noticed this year is how, over time, the gleaning crews have become like a well-oiled machine. Many people have been at it for several years and know the routine like the back of their hand. Before you know it, the harvest has been weighed, the ladders loaded, and the yard cleaned up!
We know we’re not perfect and there’s always room for improvement. We’d like to tap into the knowledge and experience of our volunteers to guide us going forward into the next five years. In the coming weeks, we’ll be asking for your input, likely through an online survey, and we hope you’ll take the time to share your insights and suggestions so we can continue to grow and serve the needs of everyone involved.
In the meantime . . .
Here’s a look back at 2018!
Once again, we lucked out with our summer student! Faith was an enthusiastic, energetic member of our team and always showed up with a smiling face and positive attitude. The only down-side was when she went back to school in September . . . 🙂
As usual, the harvest season got off to a start with cherries – the smallest and hardest to pick fruit! There are some beautiful, stately, very old specimens around town and it’s always a pleasure to get back into the trees in July.
Much as none of us like the idea of chemicals on our fruit, it’s SO disappointing to get home from a harvest and find out the cherries that appeared worm-free when you were picking them are in fact riddled with the nasty pests. It’s a problem with no easy answer. I’ll be pushing the Kootenay Cover again after purchasing one this year and harvesting a full crop of organic, worm-free cherries from my own tree.
August brings on the Apricots
Another massive harvest!
Faith, Hunter, and Hannah enjoying the fruits of their labour.
A happy recipient of some freshly-picked apricots.
Another loaded apricot tree! We’re always on a quest to find more ways to rescue more apricots!
Apricot leather and bike-blender smoothies at the Boys & Girls Club!
One of our last fall harvests was at a beautiful property in Rivershore with a wonderful variety of fruit trees and grapes!
Thanks to all our volunteers, and we hope you will be back to join us again in 2019! A special thanks to Nancy, Jae, Dede, and Stacey for stepping up as harvest leaders late in the season to help us with the final push! Happy New Year to all!
Food Action Lead
Kamloops Food Policy Council