Harnessing the abundance of urban orchards

Not Far From The Tree volunteers displaying the fruits of their urban harvest.

The Globe and Mail recently spoke to Laura Reinsborough — founder and director of one of Tides Canada Initiative’s newest projects, Not Far From The Tree — about the growing movement to transform urban-grown fruit that is normally left to rot into a solution for hunger and community building.

They ride in on Dutch cargo bikes, carrying reusable bags, ladders and old bed sheets to catch the spill of berries they learned how, through Internet videos, to shake from drooping trees.

When their bags are full and the tree branches naked, they pedal the yield off to food banks and shelters, rewarding themselves with a small take-home portion of crabapples, quince or serviceberries to use in experimental recipes.

As fruit trees come into season across Canada, expect these crop followers to pop up in several major cities: An international movement to make use of urban-grown fruit that is normally left to rot has burst into full bloom. Spurred by the success of , a Toronto non-profit launched in 2008 to harvest unwanted fruit from forgotten trees in backyards, alleyways and on public property, volunteer not-for-profit picking groups are organizing from Winnipeg and Calgary to places as far off as Perth, Australia, Puerto Rico and Scotland.

“City dwellers go far outside city limits and pay to pick apples elsewhere. It’s a novelty to be able to do that within the city,” said Laura Reinsborough, founder of Not Far From The Tree.

Read the full article on The Globe and Mail website, and learn more about Not Far From The Tree.

Tides Canada commits to open data for its grantmaking

For many years, Tides Canada has been publishing detailed lists of grants in our online annual reports. This spring, as part of our ongoing commitment to transparency, we are building on that practice by committing to publish our grants as open data and are increasing the frequency of our reporting by publishing grants listings on a quarterly basis.

Interview with Tara Marsden, Gitanyow Hereditary Chiefs Office

Gitanyow is a community nestled along the Kitwanga River in Northwestern BC. They are represented by the Gitanyow Hereditary Chiefs to establish modern treaties and implement First Nations conservation practices and land use planning for their territory. We interviewed Wilp Sustainability Director for the Gitanyow Hereditary Chiefs Tara Marsden and learned more about the Gitanyow model of long-term conservation planning, the significance of observing and adopting First Nations values and methods in conservation, and the importance of flexible, multi-year granting.