Why Register A Tree? Helen & Bob Share Their Experience
Last week I sat down with Helen and Bob, two fruit tree owners who signed up their cherry tree to be harvested by Not Far From The Tree. I wanted to pick their brains about their experience with the project.
The pair was first connected with Not Far From The Tree by a friend who had heard of the project and knew it would be a real solution for their abundant sour cherry crop. “The amount of cherries we had was overwhelming,” says Helen. “Either we found a way to stop the tree from producing or we found a way to harvest the fruit. It was help we really needed, we were delighted to be able to share with the community and show our appreciation to the volunteers.” Helen explained that after the volunteers finished the pick, they delivered one third of the cherry harvest to a shelter just blocks away from their home. Talk about an immediate impact!
“When I think about the future of the community, the country, the world… food production matters to everyone. Not Far From The Tree has found a way for tree owners like myself to reduce waste.”
Not Far From The Tree has helped the couple prevent wasting food, a subject they’re both passionate about. Bob told me how much he enjoys being involved with others who share this common objective. “When I think about the future of the community, the country, the world… food production matters to everyone. Not Far From The Tree has found a way for tree owners like myself to reduce waste.”
As our discussion evolved, we connected over shared views on the importance of protecting farmland, the joy felt from the diversity of a farmers’ market, and the feel-good of volunteering. I loved hearing the two of them share stories of the unexpected benefits of volunteering with Not Far From The Tree. Helen told me about great recipes for sour cherry chutneys, sauces, etc. she has been given by volunteers who came to help with the pick. I heard about the connections built with people they would otherwise not have met. Helen and Bob have since run into volunteers down many paths, including through their involvement with various charities, NGOs and political circles.
“For me, it’s an expectation of how to live. Volunteering is a form of activism. We’ve always believed in working for a just society, and Not Far From The Tree has given us another opportunity to do so.”
My favourite part of our discussion was when Helen explained why she’s dedicated a large amount of her life to being involved in the community. “For me, it’s an expectation of how to live. Volunteering is a form of activism. We’ve always believed in working for a just society, and Not Far From The Tree has given us another opportunity to do so.” This philosophy has given me a lot to think about since our meeting, and has prompted me to think more creatively about the skills that I have and how I can put them to use for the greater good. After all, it’s by way of original thinking that organizations like Not Far From The Tree come about, finding new ways to organize and foster community.
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