We pick fruit and share it!

About us

Giving back to our community, one fruit at a time

Not Far From The Tree is a Toronto-based fruit picking project inspired by 3 things: the spirit of sharing, the desire to give back to our community, and a passion for environmentally sustainable living.

Torontonians with fruit-bearing trees often have fruit to spare – everything from apples, pears and grapes to sumac, apricots and elderberry! Once they register their tree, we’ll pick their fruit and divvy up the harvest 3 ways: between the homeowner, our volunteers, and local food banks, shelters and community kitchens.

    • How it works

      Not Far From The Tree is Toronto’s very own fruit tree project, inspiring Torontonians to harvest, share, celebrate, and steward the bounty from our urban forest as a way to connect more intimately with a sound environmental way of life.

      When a homeowner can’t keep up with the abundant harvest produced by their tree, they let us know and we mobilize a team of volunteers to pick the bounty. The harvest is split three ways: 1/3 is offered to the homeowner, 1/3 is shared among the volunteers, and 1/3 is delivered by bicycle to local food banks, shelters, and community kitchens. It’s a win-win-win solution!

    • Who we are

      Core Team

      Sue Arndt, Project Director

      Jenna Hossack, Fruit Picking Coordinator

      Jessica McRandall, Administrative Assistant

      Susheela Ramachandran, Pilot Program Coordinator

      Chantal Stepa, Events Coordinator

      Becky Thomas, Program Manager

      Heidi Tsao, Social Media Volunteer 

      Our core team includes paid staff and volunteers, primarily seasonal and part-time staff.

      Steering Committee

      Jordy Gold

      Danielle Goldfinger, Chair

      Lois Lindsay

      Chris Rotolo

      Walter Sisti

      Nicole Vadori

      Not Far From The Tree was founded by Laura Reinsborough and is a project on Tides Canada’s shared platform, which supports on-the-ground efforts to create uncommon solutions for the common good. Tides Canada is a national Canadian charity dedicated to a healthy environment, social equity, and economic prosperity. 

      Tides Canada’s shared platform provides governance, human resources, financial, and grant management for leading environmental and social projects across Canada, allowing projects to more effectively achieve their missions. Tides Canada has full fiduciary and governance responsibility for Not Far From The Tree.

    • Where we pick

      Not Far From The Tree’s fruit picking and sharing program operates in 14 of Toronto’s 44 city wards (see map below). If you’re in our operating area and would like to share the fruit from your tree, be sure to register your tree here .

      If you’re in Toronto but outside of our operating area, we encourage you to register your tree with us anyway. We hope to grow our program, so if and when we start picking in your neck of the woods, we’ll let you know!

    • Our history

      Approximately 1.5 million pounds of fruit are produced from Toronto’s urban canopy each year, and yet most of this goes unpicked. Not Far From The Tree sprang to life in 2008 as a bright and hopeful solution to this surplus of local fruit.

      During our first harvest season, we picked and shared over 3,000 pounds of fruit from one neighbourhood with the help of crew of 150 volunteers. We’ve grown a lot since then! So far we’ve:

      • harvested over 113,000 pounds of fruit;
      • donated more than 37,000 pounds of fruit to over 30 local social service agencies;
      • registered over 1,800 trees for our fruit picking program; and
      • rallied more than 1,800 volunteers to help with the harvest.


      Not Far From The Tree has received a number of awards and accolades over the years, including:


      Our founder, Laura Reinsborough, has also been recognized for her work with Not Far From The Tree:

Not Far From The Tree is committed to principles of dignity, independence, integration, and equal opportunity. For more information please see Tides Canada’s Accessibility Policy and Plan.