Groundswell Network was invited to partner with Wild Safe BC in 2018, piloting an Apple Rescue Program. Property owners needing help because they could no longer glean their trees signed up at Groundswell and organized volunteers were dispatched to help.
The Apple Rescue program is first about Food Sustainability – not wasting precious food. However, it is also about Bear Safety. The unpicked apples in individual yards, attract bears as they seek to fatten up for winter. This puts both people and bears at risk. Fruit tree owners have a critical responsibility for both community and bear safety.
That first pilot was successful and over 1,550 pounds of apples were removed. WildSafeBC supported this initiative by identifying the locations of unmanaged fruit trees, canvassing door-to-door and promoting at WildSafeBC ➤.
Today Groundswell’s Apple Rescue is an annual event.
Caring volunteers are recruited. They donate their time to pick the apples.
Nothing goes to waste. The crop is shared with the volunteer pickers themselves and The Food Bank. The damaged apples are donated to local farmers for their livestock. Even the bears get a share as some of our local canners take the peels and cores up to the back areas and dump them there were the bears can safely feast.
The Columbia Valley grows dozens of types of delicious apples that are excellent frozen for future pies and make delicious preserves.
Home owners with apple trees they are no longer physically able to pick are encourage to call or email Groundswell at firstname.lastname@example.org to ask for help.
If you are interested in learning to can applesauce for a nutritious, delicious winter feast of your own, register for our Canning workshop Sept and take home your own home made apple sauce.