Thursday, August 19, 2010
One in the Hand Equals Three On The Tree
We went on a pear pick the other day. Last year I signed us up as volunteers for Not Far From The Tree a local charitable organization that gleans local trees for their fruit and shares the bounty. Without clobbering them over the head with it, they are only 3 and 6 after all!, I have been looking for ways to teach my kids to understand where their food comes from as well as to be socially aware and giving. I must admit my family did bring me up to be very self sufficient but not very philanthropic - I hope to do a bit better with my kids.
Back to the trees. After patiently waiting a whole year to be called to pick and missing a few chances we finally made the picker cut and the three of us went a' pickin'. The kids loved it! My daughter was a dab hand at the picking tool as she gleefully picked any pear she could reach. My son, a wee bit smaller, was quite happy to collect the fallen fruit into a separate bag - an occasionally eat a few . Their chatter kept everyone laughing and it was a wonderful way to spend an afternoon.
Fun as it was it was also wonderfully productive. NFFTT is a food share program. The owner of the tree lists their tree with the organization and when the fruit is ready to pick a team of 'gleaners' is dispatched to pick the tree as clean as they can, as well as tidy up any fallen fruit mess and debris from the pick. The bounty is divided into thirds; 1/3 for the tree owner, 1/3 divided among the pickers and 1/3 goes to food banks and organizations that feed those in need. Pretty neat, huh? Over 6,000 pounds have been picked so far in Toronto alone.
For our pick we weighed in at in excess of 250 pounds of pears and since no one took their full share over 100 pounds of fresh ready to ripen pears were taken to a local food bank that evening. All the while a gentle lesson in community, sharing and ecology was passed onto my kids that afternoon.
Pretty fruitful day if you ask me ;)
Sign up your tree if you have one - we'll happily come pick it for ya!
Thanks for stopping by for a read, BHappy and have fun.