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Slow Food Southwest Washington

09 Mar 2020, by Admin in Current Host Sites (WA)
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Site Information

Website: https://www.slowfoodswwa .org/

Email Address: info@slowfoodswwa.org

Address:

P.O. Box 1431
Vancouver, WA 98668

Slow Food Southwest Washington – Urban Abundance

 Urban Abundance, a program of Slow Food Southwest Washington (501c3), has been helping to harvest and tend Clark County’s backyard and community orchards since 2010. Recognizing the abundance of fruit trees in Clark County going unharvested, early leadership formed a grassroots volunteer group to help collect and donate fruit that would otherwise go to waste. Produce is donated to the Clark County Food Bank, which distributes to a county-wide network of over 40 partner food pantries and meal programs. The program has been historically facilitated by Slow Food leadership, funded by a recurring charitable donation. Urban Abundance shared a part-time Americorps VISTA with the Clark County Food Bank in 2011, and in 2018, Slow Food Southwest Washington was awarded its own Americorps VISTA placement to coordinate Urban Abundance full-time.

In the winter/spring/summer, Urban Abundance holds a series of Fruit Tree Steward workshops and work parties in community orchards, covering topics such as fruit tree pruning, sheet mulching, fruit thinning, and pollinator promotion. Each workshop was followed by a work party during which participants helped with seasonal orchard maintenance activities aligned with workshop topics. During harvest seasons, the VISTA organizes weekly harvest parties at community orchards and residential harvest sites. Harvest party volunteers gleaned apples, pears, Asian pears, and grapes for donation to the Clark County Food Bank and are invited to keep some for themselves (a powerful incentive for volunteer recruitment and retention). Moving forward, Urban Abundance seeks to empower community residents with the tools they need to engineer their own food sovereignty- whether its knowledge about gleaning from public spaces, resource-wise gardening, processing and saving the harvest, how to donate excess fruit, how to care for the urban orchard, and more.