Volunteer Updates: week of July 18

  • Pick Leader Training Tuesday/ Wednesday this week, South Vancouver
  • Looking for Drivers on the West side
  • Help make phone calls to Tree Owners

Read on for details… and if you don’t want to miss a volunteer update, email Erica at coordinator@vancouverfruittree.com. Continue reading

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VFTP News

A few quick updates:

– Want to join the fruit picking brigade? Email info@vancouverfruittree.com and you’ll be added to the specific fruit tree picking information list.

– A big thank you to the City of Vancouver for the Greenest City Neighbourhood Grant. We will be able to replace new picking equipment this year.

– Sign up for our enewsletter on the right to stay in touch about our events and food security projects, including the logo contest (still accepting entries), movie night, farmers’ market, bike cargo trailer volunteering and more.

– And welcome to Erica as the 2011 Coordinator, and to the new volunteers helping already with blogging, equipment repair, and our social enterprise. It’s great to have you with VFTP.

– Next meeting: August 6th, 6:30 at Britannia Community Information Centre. Everyone welcome. Read previous minutes here.

do you have a fruit tree in your yard?

no, this is not a locally grown apple. a little too perfect for that. but there are lots of apples grown right in vancouver, in our own backyards. do you have an apple tree? or another fruit bearing tree? does the amount of apples growing on your tree overwhelm you when its time to harvest? does some of the fruit end up falling on your yard, rotting & attracting unwanted pests?

solution! Vancouver Fruit Tree Project brings groups of volunteers together to pick fruit from your tree, and then the fruit gets redistributed in the community to those who need it, like daycares, community centres, etc.if you are the owner of a fruit tree in your backyard (or front yard), contact us and let’s work together!(joey is a new blogger with the vancouver fruit tree project society. like a good vancouver resident, she really loves food & coffee. she works at a local restaurant, & she also photographs & writes her own random little food blog. recently, she’s become increasingly interested in the topic of food security. she wanted to know more, & she wanted to know how she could be involved in her community. in her research, she stumbled upon the vancouver fruit tree project last month & really liked how they care about food, people, the environment, and about waste (or not wasting), among other things.)

The Invasion of Packaged Food

Welcome new blogger, William Kwan. William is a teenager currently attending David Thompson Secondary.  He likes to write in his spare time and is passionate about helping the environment.

It’s kind of scary how the once sacrosanct ritual of the home-cooked family meal is quickly becoming a thing of the past.  As our consumer-driven society indulges increasingly on microwave dinners and fast food orders, our innate connection to the environment diminishes because we no longer have the need for fresh, locally grown produce.  What’s special about the Vancouver Fruit Tree Project Society is that it not only fills empty stomachs with much-needed nutrition, but also carries on the age-old tradition of organic eating.  I fear for the day when being able to prepare delicious meals from natural and healthy ingredients is a rare privilege.    Continue reading

Logo Design contest + food security x 2

The Wilting LOGOS Re/design Competition

The Vancouver Fruit Tree Project and the Grandview Woodland Food Connection have promoted food justice, food sharing, and community building in Vancouver for many years. We were so busy working in the community….  that we forgot to update our logos. So we are launching two logo design competitions and seek your creative ideas.            

Wilting logos design competition poster            

The Prize

The prize for each winning logo is a $50 Farmers Market voucher (or cash) – and the joy of seeing your logo on our websites and publicity.

The Vancouver Fruit Tree Project The Vancouver Fruit Tree Project is a community-based registered charity dedicated to harvesting and sharing fresh local fruit in Vancouver, British Columbia. In 12 years, we have harvested over 35,000 lbs of fruit and redistributed it to community partners – including daycares and neighbourhood centres.

 The Grandview Woodland Food Connection is a neighbourhood organization dedicated to supporting the health and well-being of those of us who are struggling in the Grandview Woodland neighbourhood by promoting an accessible, just and sustainable food culture for our community. We seek to build capacity of the neighbourhood through education, information sharing, and the creation of grassroots initiatives to address food security and food justice issues.

Submission Format

Each submission should include the following information and should be sent to either: info@vancouverfruittree.com or gwfcnetwork@gmail.com

1. High resolution print-ready scalable vector format (such as portable EPS, SVG or Adobe Illustrator AI), or PSD.
2. JPEG or PNG thumbnail with a resolution of 640 x 480.
3. Design concept / description.
4. Submitter’s full name and email address.

Deadline for submissions is July 30, 2011

Once Upon a Cherry Tree

Welcome Aubrie Chaylt, new blogger for the VFTP! This month, Aubrie brings us a look at cherries.

haymarket square cherries-1973 creative commons

haymarket square cherries-1973 creative commons

When I was seventeen years old, my father lived in a house with a massive cherry tree in the front yard. My younger brother and I would scale the tree with buckets in hand to harvest the sweet summer fruit. Even if it doesn’t feel quite like summer yet, summer fruit is in our immediate future. I’m excited for cherries! And you should be too. The Vancouver Tree Fruit Project pickers will be rescuing a sweet and juicy fruit crop otherwise doomed to rot on the ground and redistributing it where there is need in the Vancouver community. Cherries are a low calorie treat with 87 calories per 1 cup with pits and they are a source of dietary fibre as well as vitamin C[i].

HOMEMADE CHERRY JUICE[ii]

Stem, sort and wash your cherries. The more the merrier, more cherries = more cherry juice. I used 6 cups. Drain and pit the little suckers. Crush them, really crush them with a potato masher or the back of a wooden spoon. Heat them to 165°F without boiling. Strain the juice. Cool overnight and strain again. To sweeten, add sugar. To add tartness, add lemon juice.

LAMB RIB CHOPS WITH QUICK CHERRY PAN SAUCE[iii]

  • 3 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 3/4- to 1-inch-thick lamb rib chops
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium red onion, halved, thinly sliced (about 2 cups)
  • 1 cup homemade cherry juice!
  • 1 cup halved pitted fresh sweet cherries (about 7 ounces whole unpitted cherries)
  • 1/3 cup thinly sliced fresh basil, divided

Preheat oven to 250°F. Mix flour, salt, and pepper on a large plate. Lightly coat your lamb chops with the flour mixture and shake off any excess. Melt butter with oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add lamb chops and cook to desired doneness, about 3 minutes per side for medium-rare. Transfer the chops to a baking sheet and keep warm in oven while preparing sauce (do not clean skillet). Add your onion to the same skillet and sauté for about 2 minutes. Add your cherry juice and bring to a boil, scraping up any browned bits. Boil until the liquid is slightly reduced and the onion is slightly softened, stirring frequently, about 4 minutes. Stir in cherries and half of the basil and cook 1 minute. Season the sauce you’ve just created (you areso amazing) to taste with salt and pepper. Place 2 lamb chops on each of 4 plates and spoon sauce over. Sprinkle remaining basil over and serve.

Aubrie Chaylt

* * * * * * * *

[i] SELF: Nutrition Data, 2011. http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/fruits-and-fruit-juices/1867/2

[ii] Recipe adapted from The Encyclopedia of Country Living by Carla Emery. 10th ed. Seattle: Sasquatch Books, 2008.

[iii] Recipe adapted from original recipe by Lori Longbotham for Bon Appétit Magazine. June, 2008. http://www.bonappetit.com/recipes/2008/06/lamb_rib_chops_with_quick_cherry_pan_sauce

Visiting Spring Ridge Commons: community urban food forest

I volunteer with the Vancouver Fruit Tree Project, and on a recent weekend trip to Victoria I learned about the Springtide Commons. It’s a special place: an edible permaculture garden maintained by and for the community. The oasis is the size of a few house lots, and plants are available for communal harvest.

“Spring Ridge Commons is Victoria’s oldest and largest public permaculture garden or community multi-layer  food forest… It is an example of what is possible when you start with a gravel parking lot in a relatively low-income area near the city centre.”

On a cloudy springtime day, there was a lot of activity in the Commons. Victoria’s growing season is weeks ahead of Vancouver’s right now so there was a lot of plant growth to admire. As well, we met neighbours in the Commons, found kale, picked herbs, learned about more native plants, and destroyed some invasive caterpillars. Later on, a private permaculture class was listening intently to their instructor.

The Spring Ridge project is inspiring as to how to raise community gardening to another level. It makes growing food together part of an education and easily accessible to anyone walking by- and a fine way of sharing knowledge and communal resources for free.

You can read more about the Spring Ridge Commons project here.

– Sam