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    Orchard Stewards Program: Sharing the Harvest Among Neighbors

    OSP 2


    Session 2: Sharing the Harvest Among Neighbors

    The last phrase of BOP’s mission statement is “sharing the harvest among neighbors.” In the past, this has meant harvesting a BUNCH of fruit with volunteers, keeping the fruit in our hatchbacks, and carting it to local food banks. Well, this is still a method of ours. But as BOP has grown and the community orchards have grown, we are empowering Stewards to take charge of their harvests on their own and distribute the fruit to their neighbors–food banks, next door neighbors, sharing fruit at events, and more.

    Too often, we can only distribute fruit harvested in the Fall until January. Here at BOP we thought, How can we sustain the harvest? How can we help our Stewards sustain this process? Then the lovely Caiti Sullivan swooped in like the hero she is and offered her canning expertise for free. Caiti is both smart and kind enough to have led a workshop on canning applesauce. She made the big wide world of canning accessible to myself and our Stewards, and now we all know how to adequately can applesauce! (If you are not a Steward or would like to learn from Caiti again, you can attend a canning workshop Caiti is leading with BOP in October! Look at our Meetup for more details. Meanwhile, check out Caiti’s resources.) Jonah House, thank you for letting host our second Orchard Stewards session at your home. You all are a beautiful community. We will be coming back soon!

    Dean, our Harvest Coordinator, discussed the ins and outs of the harvest protocol. He explained which fruits are considered “firsts,” “seconds,” and “compost,” what rot to look out for, and best forms of distribution. Many Stewards had excellent ideas for sustainable distribution, like including a harvest in your community’s CSA. Thank you Stewards for the inspiration! You all are the agents of resilience in your neighborhoods. Happy Harvest!

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