Category Archives: Volunteers

Ethanol as Fuel – Fruit Project

Sean Isles is an entrepreneur in Vancouver and he sent the Vancouver Fruit Tree Project information about his new project working with ethanol. Ethanol fuel can be made from anything that has sugar in it, like fruit that is so far past its prime that no one wants to eat it or cook with it. He writes, “Ethanol is a good replacement for gasoline as fuel for cars.  It is carbon-neutral because the carbon that enters the atmosphere from the car’s exhaust has been taken out of the atmosphere during the prior growing season when the plant used it in photosynthesis.

It can be produced locally, unlike gasoline – have you ever heard of a back-yard oil refinery?”

Sean wants to see whether it’s feasible to make fuel alcohol on a community scale.  One of the requirements is a supply of feedstock, like waste fruit.  He’s hoping to partner with the Vancouver Tree Fruit Project Society to turn waste fruit into fuel and will keep VFTP informed about the performance of the fuel in small engines.  As locally-made fuel proves itself, he’ll invite members of the community to test the fuel in real-world driving conditions, then use the momentum generated to build a larger plant that can turn waste into fuel for everyone. Continue reading

Welcome to Dom! Our Katimavik volunteer for 2011

Do you know what Katimavik is? Katimavik is a volunteering program in Canada. It gives youth the chance to take part in intensive service and learning projects that help change Canadian communities. Through their volunteer work, youth grow and mature into engaged citizens.” (

My name is Dominic and I am a Katimavik volunteer in East Vancouver in an Eco program. Part of my job is working with the Vancouver Fruit Tree Project. During the week I also work at the Pedal depot, a bike co-op and during the weekend my group and I volunteer with diverse events and organizations. I have been here since July 6th and I am staying until December 16th.

I’m from the Province of Quebec and I grew up in a very little town call Taschereau (close of Rouyn-Noranda, 7 hours of driving in north of Montreal). After my high school, I went to Quebec City for a couple of months learning about music and violin making. After, I came back to Rouyn-Noranda at Cegep and I studied in botany and forestry for one and a half years. I am passionate about a lot of things but mainly about music and Biology and I hope that my knowledge will help here in the field of fruit trees.

So now that I’m here, enjoying the beauty of British Columbia and Vancouver, I’m really happy to work with the Vancouver Fruit Tree project. I hope to meet you soon and I will be happy to talk with you and answer your questions.

Also, in the coming months I will write articles in the blog about Forestery, botany, harvesting etc.


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 Continue reading


A few quick updates:

– Want to join the fruit picking brigade? Email 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.

We are Hiring for the 2011 Season

The Vancouver Fruit Tree Project Society seeks an enthusiastic, organized Coordinator 
for the 2011 season.

VFTP Job posting

Update May 18th: a driver’s licence with a 3-year driving record is required.

The posting deadline has been extended to Friday, June 3rd 2011 at 5pm.

Continue reading

Welcome to the 2011 Season

The 10th Fruit Tree Project Season

This is the Vancouver Fruit Tree Project’s first e-newsletter!  We send information about Fruit Tree Project volunteer opportunities, projects, and events.To sign up, use the form on the right hand sidebar.

Here are some ways to join us:

Volunteering for picking fruit: If you’re new this year, to be contacted for fruit picking email with “pick list” in the subject line.

AGM! We’re holding our annual Annual General Meeting on Thursday, June 16th. Details to follow. Call for nominations- if you’d like to join the Board as a member at large and help the project grow strong, call Erin to see how you can get involved on this level: 604-8872-5591.

Outreach event: Would you like to table at the Stone Soup Festival at Britannia Community Centre Sat. May 7th for 2 hours between 12-5pm? Email to sign up.

Bike trailer workshop –Thanks to the generous Vancouver Cargo Bike Collective, we’re able to make pedal powered deliveries this year. Learn to ride with the trailer: email

Slow Fruit Cycle Event: Imagine a slow, group bike ride to show off the Fruit Tree Project’s harvest and build support! Volunteers wanted to assist in planning/organization of a slow fruit cycle in late July or early August, email

Volunteer Opportunities: more volunteer opportunities on our website, including Board member positions, bloggers, social media, drivers….

New faces and ideas are always welcome. Drop us an email, or come to the next meeting. Email for dates and times.

we’ll be hiring…

We’ll be hiring a part-time Coordinator this season. If you enjoy volunteer coordination, have good communication skills, are organized, and have a 3-year driving record (so you can book Car Coop vehicles), watch the website at and Facebook for updates..

Book Review: Independence Days

In the Bookshed: Independence Days | Sharon Astyk
Guest Post by Megan Adam

I should warn you upfront that no sooner was I done this book, that I started clearing a corner of my basement for long-term food storage. Not necessarily because Sharon Astyk makes a compelling case for the end of civilization as we know it, but because the notion of security – and in particular food security is so compelling to me. For more than a decade I have put some food by each year, canning mostly, occasionally drying foods, but after reading this book I’m committed to doing a lot more. Three months supply of food for each person in the house? I’m not sure about that yet, but I’ve got that corner cleaned out and I’m going to fill it.

Independence Days is an excellent introduction to the whys and hows of food storage covering everything from how to get your family to eat storage food (not a problem in our house because we already eat lots of beans and lentils and rice) to recipes to the principles behind lactofermentation. What I particularly appreciated were the acknowledgements throughout that moving oneself into a more secure food paradigm is a task often complicated by the hard realities of personal economics, and the people with whom we share space.

Astyk’s style is eminently readable – conversational and breezy throughout as she chides her own past mistakes in food preserving (really – she says – don’t let your fermenting kimchi explode in your kitchen), and imparts real-world wisdom in each step of the various processes – root cellaring, canning, drying, lactofermentation and season-extension in the garden. Additionally, an extensive home medical kit is also covered as part of your home preparations — just in case.

While not an alarmist, Astyk does ask us to consider the possibility that we encounter a disaster so great that we are not able to access grocery stores or municipal water supplies. That might be a quarantine, it might be an earthquake, or it might just be a job loss that leaves one with little means to pay the rent and eat. In any of these situations she suggests that putting food by while we have it available is not only a good strategy, but a responsibility to ourselves and our families.

I can’t say I disagree, and while greater food security for my family is something I’ve always meant to get around to, this book is written in such a way as to give you confidence in getting started without being overwhelmed. If food security at home is something you think about, this is a good first-reference and an enjoyable read.

– Megan Adam blogs at