Seattle may be the only urban environment in the U.S. that can still boast having an extensive network of orchards containing an assortment of heirloom varieties planted by early settlers to the region.
–Audrey Lieberworth, Seattle’s Orchards: A Historic Legacy Meets Modern Sustainability
Mission and History
City Fruit puts our urban orchard to its best and fullest use so that everyone in our community shares in the value of fruit.
Urban fruit trees are a valuable community resource, yet often fruit goes unused because people are not sure when to harvest it, how to best use it, or they are put off by damage caused by preventable disease and pests. We are reclaiming the urban orchard, showing people how to harvest what they need and how to share the rest with others. We help tree owners grow healthy fruit, provide assistance in harvesting and preserving fruit, promote the sharing of extra fruit, and work to protect urban fruit trees.
City Fruit started in late 2008 when Gail Savina called together a group of like-minded people who were interested in trying to create something more for Seattle’s urban orchard. City Fruit was founded to find a better approach that manages this incredible resource holistically, focusing on education, stewardship, food policy, and sustainability, in addition to the harvesting and distribution of the fruit.
From that initial meeting, we created a mission, secured a fiscal sponsorship from the Phinney Neighborhood Association, and got to work. In the following years, City Fruit grew from a dedicated group of volunteers to an independent non-profit organization with over 400 members and a staff of five located in the Fremont neighborhood.
As inhabitants of Seattle, all of us at City Fruit live, work, and play on the traditional shared lands of the Coast Salish peoples, including the Suquamish, Duwamish, Nisqually, Snoqualmie, and Muckleshoot tribal nations. We are continuing to learn how to decolonize our mindsets and practices, and envision our work in food justice as a means to challenge the exploitative processes of our current food system.
Click here to learn more about the traditional lands you are on.