Our friend Laura Reinsborough founded a charitable organization a few years ago with a simple but brilliant mandate: if you have a tree on your property with a harvest too abundant for you to eat or pick, they'll send volunteers. The fruit picked are split three ways: a third to the owner, a third shared amongst the volunteers who picked it, and a third delivered (by bicycle, no less) to local food banks, shelters and community kitchens.
Called Not Far From the Tree, the organization facilitated the picking of 3000 pounds (from forty trees) in 2008. Last year they picked 12,512 pounds of fruit from 243 trees, with nearly a thousand volunteers. Over the years they've picked black walnuts, sweet cherries, sour cherries, mulberries, pawpaw, ginko, quince, serviceberries, apricots, plums, grapes, crabapples, elderberries, sumac, pears and apples.
They are currently in the middle of a crowd-sourcing fundraising campaign and for a gift of only $20 you get a tote bag designed by Micah Lexier. For details, click here.
For more information, visit the Not Far From the Tree website here.
Below: Micah Lexier, last night at the Royal Ontario Museum, receiving a plaque from Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne and Michael Chan, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport. Lexier and Iain Baxter& were the two visual artists shortlisted for the Premier's Award for Excellence in the Arts.