Yup, it happened again today as it has for the past 8+ years… a crew from Second Harvest (http://feedingamerica.org) came by and harvested our citrus trees to feed the needy in our area.
But in the late winter / early spring of ’99 we realized the citrus trees (2 lemon, 2 orange, 1 tangerine, 1 grapefruit) put out far more fruit than we (or our friends) would ever consume, so we harvested them and took the harvest to Second Harvest food bank. (Harvesting 6 heavy-producing fruit trees by one person is no easy matter, btw)
After the citrus harvest came the rest of the trees – another 13 – each of which produced a prodigious amount of goodies we had to deal with. (except the almond… the squirrels got those and left the rest of our fruit alone 🙂 You guessed it: We made pies, started a bit of canning jams / jellies and harvested and donated several thousand pounds of fruit to Second Harvest.
Then one day we got a call from Second Harvest saying they’d started a program to harvest entire neighborhoods, would we like to participate? You bet, sign us up for that program!
So since then, Second Harvest has harvested all of our trees – leaving on the tree or giving us whatever we want of the harvest – and fed the needy with the rest. In turn, we get (1) a feeling that we’re helping those less fortunate that we are and (2) a tax break for our donation of the fruit at the then-current value of the harvested materials (3) nicely harvested, no rotting-fruit orchards to clean up – talk about win-win!!!! (Over the years we’ve become something of the neighborhood coordinators of the harvest and are pleased to lend additional support in that manner, too.)
Every year in the past, we’d give a jar of jam / jelly to the lead coordinator of the harvest. But today I decided to thank the young people / harvesters by having them nominate their hardest working volunteer to receive a jar of TBC Vamoose Juice Honey. Turns out they couldn’t settle on just ONE so nominated two and, well… I’m a wuss and folded like a cheap card table – I handed out two jars. BUT THAT’S ALL YOU FOLKS GET!!! 🙂
Our entire neighborhood thanks Second Harvest for the good work they do on behalf of the less fortunate. See you at apple harvest time. (Oh, and we’ve bought two new fruit trees so in another year or two, you better bring a lunch and back-up cause it’s going to be an all-day project.)