What’s It Like to Lead Picks? Ryan Shares His Experience

This week’s featured Pick Leader is Ryan Frigault, a Supreme Gleaner with Not Far From The Tree.

What got you interested in volunteering with Not Far From the Tree?
Reading about the project on NOW magazine’s website. I was amazed by the amount of uneaten fruit in the city and I wanted a piece!

When you’re not picking, what do you do?
My day job is with the Ontario Public Service. By night I blog about whisky, mix records, cook with my wife, and I travel as often as I can

How would you describe your role & responsibilities?
As a Supreme Gleaner, I’m responsible for coordinating the logistics of the pick and leading volunteers.

What’s the weirdest thing you’ve done for fruit?
Bouncing on a trampoline to collect tiny, tart and juicy red apples on a tree that had grown wild.

Tell us about some memorable moments you’ve had on picks past.
One homeowner had a beautifully naturalized garden with veggies, herbs, berries, apples, pears and grapes growing along a trellis. It was like being in the garden of Eden, so lush and nourishing.

Tell us about something awesome you’ve done with Not Far From the Tree fruit.
Apricot spread-topped homemade Belgian waffles.

What have you learned in this role that you don’t think you’d have learned anywhere else?
I would likely have never seen the variety of backyards and slices of life that the downtown core has to offer.

If you could go on a pick with anyone in the world, living or dead, who would you pick?
Jamie Oliver; Ruth Goodman, Peter Ginn, and Alex Langlands from the show Victorian Farm; and Steve Paiken (I think he’d be good company, and since he’s tall he can reach the highest fruit!).

Tell us about some trends you’ve noticed as a volunteer over the past few seasons.
Homeowners, by and large, lack the knowledge or the time to properly care for and prune their trees to maximize yield and quality.

How do you feel about riding the famous cargo bike?
Like a fruit stud.

What are some things that would make your job better?
More storage locations, working and reliable scales.

What do you hope Not Far From the Tree can achieve this season and beyond?
Revenue neutrality!

What’s one thing you think everyone should know about Not Far From the Tree?
It’s a great organization based on a foundation of cooperation and sharing nature’s bounty.

What advice do you have for anyone wanting to become a SG/TC?
Must like fruit and people.

Further Reading

Picking & Preserving with Romero House

A “Picking Blitz” with LoyaltyOne