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HomeNewsCampbell RiverLocal group looking to prevent food waste, animal encounters in ‘fruitful’ year

Local group looking to prevent food waste, animal encounters in ‘fruitful’ year

As this summer has turned out to be a very ‘fruitful’ year for backyard trees in Campbell River, a local group is looking to harvest more and prevent food waste.

The Greenways Land Trust is getting its Fruit Tree Project underway for the year. The non-profit focuses on conservation and food security, and the bountiful year of fruit is providing a new opportunity to provide for the community.

“The Fruit Tree Project is designed to give homeowners with fruit trees an option when they don’t know what to do with their fruit,” said outreach and food security coordinator Jeff Groat.

“A lot of people have fruit trees in their backyard that are overloaded with fruit, especially this year, and what we want to do is give them an option to pass it on to the community and to keep bear and other wildlife encounters down.”

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Groat says homeowners have an option to register their tree and keep up to 25 per cent of the fruit. Volunteers will come by to collect the fruit, they can have the other 25 per cent of the fruit, and the remaining 50 per cent goes to food banks, local First Nations and others in Campbell River.

Compared to last year, which had a cold and wet spring and not a ton of fruit, the trees are producing much more this year as the weather has been good for pollination and for the trees to produce fruit.

“A lot of it is just falling on the ground. People are busy, people are working lots, people have moved in and inherited more trees,” said Groat.

While an exact figure of how much food goes to waste is unclear, Groat says he feels they are just scratching the surface when it comes to food waste every year. Last year, he says they dropped off around 500 to 600 lbs of apples to the food bank in just one week.

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As the program is just getting underway for this year, Groat says they are looking for volunteers for them to come and help pick fruit trees in the community and says they are some perks.

“The nice thing about is it’s a great way to get outside, get some fresh air and some exercise, meet some people in your community and feel like you are doing a good thing for your community,” said Groat.

“You also get to take home some nice, fresh, delicious fruit for your efforts.”

A link to register your tree can be found on the Greenways Land Trust website, along with volunteer opportunities and others.

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