Urban Abundance’s Second Annual Pick-a-Pear-a-thon is a Wrap!

19 Sep 2019, by Admin in Harvest Blog, Harvest VISTA, Gleaning, Washington state

Harvest Against Hunger VISTA Lynsey Horne serves as program coordinator of Urban Abundance, a program of Slow Food SW WA in Vancouver, WA. Slow Food SW WA is an international organization that advocates for good, clean, fair food for all, and their program Urban Abundance’s mission is to engage neighbors in the maintenance, harvest, and creation of edible landscapes that are accessible to everyone. Urban Abundance is currently partnered with five fruit tree orchards in the Vancouver area to coordinate the seasonal maintenance, harvest, and donation of the fruit to the food bank, and holds workshops and other events throughout the year to engage community members in their own food sovereignty.

Urban Abundance has officially wrapped up their second annual Pick-a-Pear-a-thon, a combination two-week long harvest event and fundraiser. The month of August was full of fundraising efforts, event planning, volunteer recruitment, and harvesting twice a day for two weeks straight to get as many pears from 400 Bartlett pear trees as possible.  The fundraising efforts and the two-week long harvest event brought in $1,655 in donations and sponsors, 6,321 lbs of Bartlett pears to the Clark County Food Bank, 80 volunteers, 1 sponsor, and a clip on KGW-TV. With all the volunteer help, Urban Abundance was able to harvest from every tree at Foley Community Orchard and Omega Farm, which is the first year they’ve been able to do that! The County Food Bank has over 40 partnerships with local food pantries and meal programs throughout the area, so this produce made it all across the county to thousands people in need.

Harvest VISTA Lynsey Horne is now focusing her efforts on coordinating the rest of their harvest season and planning for the next big event- the Community Cider Pressing Tent at Old Apple Tree Festival. Urban Abundance has hundreds of fruit trees registered in their fruit tree owner database, and between those and Urban Abundance’s five orchard partners, there is no shortage of fruit to harvest until the season ends after October. Lynsey, along with Urban Abundance volunteers, have been spending lots of time in backyards and orchards throughout the County harvesting everything from plums, different apple varieties, grapes, pears, and more. At Old Apple Tree Festival on October 5th, Urban Abundance will be hosting their cider pressing tent, where folks can bring apples with them or purchase them on site, and they will be pressed into cider for free in an attempt to further minimize food waste through celebrating a fall tradition. Even though summer felt much too short, it’s shaping up to be a great Fall!