The Community Fruit program started in 2020 as our Free Fruit Farmstand. We’d harvest one day a month and then give all the fruit away to the community here in South Oak Park. We saw an abundance of fruit falling from trees and creating challenges with mess and pests while there is limited access for many folks to get fresh, healthy food. Our collective urban orchard in the Sacramento area is especially robust, and while Urban gleaning is no new concept, we are lucky to live in a place where there are so many prolific fruit trees!
Other organizations have been gleaning in the area for much longer than we have, but because of the challenges around the global pandemic, many of them took a break. The fruit trees are still producing and the need for healthy food is greater than ever! So we are doing all we can to address the need for harvesting and sharing fruit.
We continue to host our monthly Free Fruit Farmstand in South Oak Park and have also partnered with community groups that are doing really great work here. To learn more about our partners please check out the information below.
If you'd like to support the project please reach out! We are always looking for more trees to include in the network, help harvesting, and supplies or financial support are welcome as well.
Our goals with this program are:
- Enjoy fruit with our community. We love answering questions and encouraging folks to try the wide variety that grows here. We believe that fruit can be a wonderful, healthy way to try something new.
- Keep locally grown fruit from getting wasted. Backyard trees generally produce way more than one household can consume or even preserve. We give the fruit directly to the local community to help ensure that it won't get wasted.
- Help owners of fruit trees to find the resources needed to care for their trees so they can continue to share fresh, healthy food with the community.
Some of our community partners are:
Alchemist connect communities to land, food and opportunity. They also have been a huge help connecting the Community Fruit program with volunteers!
Community Connections 95820:
Community Connections 95820 is working to make sure no kid in the 95820 zip code goes hungry during the COVID-19 pandemic. When the lockdowns started and community food banks in South Oak Park closed, a team of community organizations came together to provide food to the most vulnerable families in the 95820 zip code. They are scrappy, ambitious, and passionate. The goal of the project is to deliver food to families until they no longer need it.
During the COVID pandemic, NorCal Resist's mutual aid program has distributed over $500,000 in direct cash aid, and hundreds of bags of groceries to immigrant families in the Sacramento area.
Neighbor Program is a community organization committed to serving the people of Sacramento through building survival programs.
Special thanks to Harvest Sacramento for your encouragement and for lending us some harvesting equipment!
Frequently Asked Questions:
Q: I love this project! How can I make sure that it continues to happen?
A: Great question. We accept donations to keep the program going. You can make one time donations at venmo or consider supporting Community Fruit and find out farms with a small monthly donation at patreon.com/findoutfarms. Your support and generosity make this program happen. Thank you!
Q: I live outside of Sacramento and have fruit to share! Will you come and harvest my tree?
A: We suggest doing an internet search with the name of where you live and the word "gleaning" to find a local organization to help get your fruit to your community. At this point, we are only active in the Sacramento area.
Q: Can I pick my own fruit, but still share it?
A: YES! That is a wonderful help! Depending on your location we can arrange for pick up or we can schedule a time for it to get dropped off here in South Oak Park.
Q: Can I have some free fruit?
A: Yes! We have a free fruit stand on the last Saturday of the month each month. Follow us on facebook to find specific details. If you're food insecure and looking for food sooner please check this website: https://www.sacramentofoodbank.org/find-food
Q: I have a very tall tree. Will you be able to pick all of the fruit off of it?
A: We do the best we can with a harvest ladder and a fruit picker, but often times very tall fruit trees have fruit that we simply cannot get to. If you know anyone that has a bucket truck that they aren't using, please let us know!