Voluntary Harvesting—Brilliant!

Yesterday I wrote about the entrepreneurial business trend website and newsletter Springwise. I would be remiss if I didn’t follow-up with its sibling, trendcentral. As noted on the their home page, they describe themselves as:

trendcentral® is THE INTELLIGENCE GROUP’s free daily email, which covers all aspects of trends, including entertainment, fashion, lifestyle, technology, hot spots, and “our picks” in a variety of categories. trendcentral® provides up-to-the-minute commentary on what’s new and noteworthy. Powered by the research, insights, and global trendsetter network of THE INTELLIGENCE GROUP, trendcentral® stays on top of the most interesting and important trends around.

I get a daily blast that high-lights a trend in one of 4 areas that include lifestyle, style, entertainment and technology. I use them as a beacon of what’s ‘hip’ and ‘cool’—guidance as to what is going on as they are ALWAYS on the money and ahead of the mainstream. Now I would hate to categorize myself as an early influencer, but I’d like to believe that all the reading I do keeps me on top and at the cutting edge of what’s happening on most cultural fronts.

Today’s post didn’t disappoint. Imagine a voluntary group who has come up with the idea of harvesting the fruit from the back yards of ordinary neighborhoods like the ones we live and grew up in. I remember many of my friend’s had apple and cherry trees in their backyards. I remember us stealing the fruit as kids and adding it to our snack ratio in between games of tag. I also remember the grass dotted with mushy fruit that didn’t get used. Fruit that decomposed as it lay discarded—left behind for the birds, raccoons and squirrels to dine upon in splendor. Either that, or it just sat there waiting to be raked up into a green garbage bag as the trees moved through their seasonal cycles—preparing for the fresh fruit to come.

Well guess what! Someone brilliant came up with the idea of asking permission from homeowners with fruit trees in their yards, as well as fruit tress in public spaces, to take the excess and give it to the needy. I loooove this idea, because it’s so simple and easy for everyone around the world to grasp onto. Check out the story below.


Food swapping isn’t the only way waste-minded consumers are dealing with excess edibles. With food prices at an all time high and concern regarding food waste on the rise—not only in restaurants and grocery stores (which freegans have been making use of for years), but also in home gardens and trees in public spaces—activists in warm climates are tapping into free alternative sources of food to provide healthy fruit for the needy.

The United Food Bank in Mesa, Arizona has “citrus volunteers” pick citrus from homeowners’ yards who agree to donate; volunteers at the North Berkeley Harvest pick fruit from people’s yards and donate it to non-profit organizations; Village Harvest in the Silicon Valley has a database of over 1,000 homeowners who donate their surplus fruit; and the LA-based “social activist” artist group Fallen Fruit goes door-to-door asking people if they can pick the unwanted fruit in their yards, harvests from trees and bushes on public land, and offers tours to show the public just how easy it is.

Now that’s food for thought!

Best Nicole


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