One of the most exciting parts of our work in 2017’s Harvest was the introduction of Harvest Hubs. We launched them with the goal of hosting 2-4 prototype hubs in 2 neighborhoods but they quickly took over – we ended up hosting 7 hubs and, founding Executive Director Gail Savina, hosted another 6-8 near her home in South Seattle. They were an immediate success – for our team, volunteers, tree owners, and the community – and we couldn’t be more geared up to scale them across Seattle as one of our New Year’s Resolutions in 2018.
Harvest Hubs are a volunteer-driven and community-designed approach to harvesting and distributing fruit. Groups of 10-20 volunteers show up at a central location; meet with City Fruit staff who provide them with harvest lists and maps of the local neighborhood; go out and harvest in teams; and then meet back up to get the fruit ready for donation. It’s a great way to get your hands dirty, meet some neighbors, and participate in the best part of our work – sharing the fruit!
The design of the Hub is incredible: it’s an easy way for volunteers and local businesses and get involved; and it sets a great platform for evolving our distribution model, from a straight-forward donation to a community-centric impact.
This year, we will expand the Harvest Hubs, not just to serve every neighborhood in Seattle but to ensure that they respond uniquely to the needs of each neighborhood. This means:
- Volunteers can harvest and share fruit in the community in which they live
- The community can decide the best use of the fruit: whether it’s for community parties, preservation classes, or even a farmers market
- All City Fruit members can participate in the collection and consumption of the harvest, regardless of whether they care for a fruit tree or not!
To get involved in a Harvest Hub near you, make sure to fill out this volunteer survey (yep – we accidentally sent a closed link last week…it’s working this time!)
Carrie Ferrence, Executive Director