- Abundance & Productivity! Lots of fruit set this year & we had our best harvest yet in 2016. Volunteers collected 4093 pounds of fruit from the neighborhood, and delivered over 945 pounds of fruit to those in need. Yay! THANK YOU to all who participated.
- We found a new favorite site for pressing apples, at Common Ground Garden, at Van Buren & 21st. The garden provides a nice friendly community space, and the apple pulp leftovers provide nice compost and soil amendments. Roll up the portable sink and the cider press & plug it in (thanks for the power, neighbors!), and we are ready to go. We had two popular cider pressings at Common Ground Garden where folks pressed 1558 pounds of apples into cider. You might still get to taste some in a bottle if you’re lucky.
- Several nice orchard ladders were donated along with some handy wearable picking buckets. For the busy harvest period, the ladder were VERY helpful so multiple groups could pick at once. The buckets increased productivity as well as safety. It sure is helpful to have hands free up on a ladder. Thanks J & J Farm for your generous donation!
- Pruning is fun & it works! Though sometimes it doesn’t… Most of the trees that were pruned before the 2016 season responded well in the summer with abundant fruit, and they were much easier to harvest. But some pruned trees didn’t fruit much at all, which could have been related to the pruning. Or maybe not. Either way, the trees are healthier, & hopefully were better able to survive 2016’s late ice storm!
- Community building! The group of participants grew nicely this year, with many new harvesters and some new folks willing to share fruit. Outreach got better and easier (thanks MailChimp). Neighbors got some quality bonding time with their Friendly fruit while pruning or harvesting or sipping.
Looking forward to 2017!