Not Far From The Tree puts Toronto’s fruit to good use by picking and sharing the bounty. We aim to ensure that the fruit growing in Toronto isn't wasted, but rather picked, eaten, shared, and enjoyed.
The Full Story
When a homeowner can’t keep up with the abundant harvest produced by their tree, they let us know and we mobilize our volunteers to pick the bounty. The harvest is split three ways: 1/3 is offered to the tree owner, 1/3 is shared among the volunteers, and 1/3 is delivered by bicycle to be donated to food banks, shelters, and community kitchens in the neighbourhood so that we’re putting this existing source of fresh fruit to good use. It’s a win-win-win situation!
This simple act has profound impact. With an incredible crew of volunteers, we’re making good use of healthy food, addressing climate change with hands-on community action, and building community by sharing the urban abundance.
With our first full season in 2008, Not Far From The Tree has grown quickly.
In 2010 we picked nearly 20,000 lbs of fruit from 228 trees. And yet, this was only from 1/4 of the trees that were registered with us. There is a strong need for our successful programming to expand across the city.
What’s more… We transport all of our equipment and fruit by bicycle, keeping our carbon footprint low. We were an official part of Nuit Blanche with our all-night cider-pressing art installation, City Cider. We participated in 40+ fairs, festivals, and community events across the city this year. We ran 12 preserving workshops to extend the harvest year-round and share local food skills. We harvest maple syrup from city trees, too, to demonstrate a local winter crop from Toronto trees. We will be starting a public fruit tree mapping initiative to be launched in 2011. We helped Toronto’s first community orchard become established.
To put your support behind this excellent initiative,
become a donor. (All donations managed by our parent charity, The Popular Education & Research Catalyst Centre.)
Funding and Partnerships
We are grateful to the many donors who make Not Far From The Tree possible:
Rhona Phillips Carniol
Fiona Mansfield (in honour of Brendan and Val)
Conan MacLean and Malgosia Halliop
Antonietta Curcio (in memory of Katherine Turner)
Jode and Carol Roberts
Risa Alyson Cooper
Nelly Auster Young
From 2008-2010, our fruit picking program has picked 30,833 pounds of fruit that would have otherwise gone to waste. In addition, we've developed a formula to determine how much greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions we've saved through sourcing locally produced fruit. In 2009, we reduced GHG emissions by 43 tonnes, and in 2010 by a whopping 109.4 tonnes!
Since our first season in 2008, Not Far From The Tree has already made quite a splash:
Shortlisted for a Green Toronto Award in the category of Leadership (2011) Awarded the Urban Leadership Award for ‘City Soul’ from the Canadian Urban Institute (2010) Received international media attention with a feature in Glamour France (2010) Selected as a Hometown Heroes Finalist by Earth Day Canada (2010) Received an Environmental Award of Excellence from the City of Toronto in the category Community Projects (2009) Named 1 of “50 Reasons to Love Toronto Now” by Toronto Life (2009)
Our Founder, Laura Reinsborough, has been recognized for her work in starting this
initiative: Nominated for a Live Green Toronto Award, in the category of Leadership (2011) Received a Women of the Earth Award from the Yves Rocher Foundation (2011) Awarded a Vital People grant through the Toronto Community Foundation (2011) Named an Agent of Change through the Centre for Social Innovation (2011) Featured as an inaugural GreenHero on the new GreenHeroes TV (2010) Portrayed in a chapter in Mayor David Miller’s book for contributing to the strength of the city (2010) Named a “local hero” by The Village Post and a “local food visionary” by the Toronto Star (2010) Presented as “We’ve got our eye on…” in Chatelaine Magazine (2009)