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SLC FruitShare: Saving Fruit That Would Otherwise Go Unpicked

By Brooke Taylor

Salt Lake City works in partnership with The Green Urban Lunch Box, a local nonprofit organization aimed to “empower people to engage in local food production by using the resources available in their community” to operate FruitShare. Volunteers help pick fruit from residents’ registered trees, then distribute the harvest 3 ways:

1/3 goes to homeowners, 1/3 goes to volunteers, 1/3 goes to hunger relief (Utah Food Bank, local food pantries, shelters, health clinics, and anti-hunger organizations)

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FruitShare also distributes fruit through The Green Urban Lunch Box’s free Senior Center Markets and Salt Lake City’s Urban Greens Mobile Market. Some of the fruit is given to local businesses, with a portion of the proceeds donated back creating sustainability of the program. Lastly, the overly ripe, buggy, damaged, inedible fruit is either preserved, composted, or fed to the turkeys on the GULB’s farm!

Harvests take place from July all the way into November!

The specific fruits’ harvest seasons are represented in this graphic

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WHAT YOU CAN DO

Register your fruit trees/bushes, OR become a volunteer and reap the fruits of your labor!

  1. Register your treehttps://www.thegreenurbanlunchbox.com/forms
    • Must meet harvest requirements:  less than two stories tall (~20 ft) OR more than half of the branches are below 15 ft.
    • Register trees, bushes, grapes, even nut trees too!
    • When it comes time- Request a harvest
      • Volunteers will come to your home and collect the fruit that is ripe enough to be harvested. GULB even offers tree care services to registered trees for a small fee.
  1. Volunteer! :  https://www.thegreenurbanlunchbox.com/volunteer
    • Volunteer as an individual or group (minimum of 6 people). As FruitShare grows, volunteers are essential in ensuring this program continues. Engage with the community, and become a part of this amazing program- You and the Green Urban Lunchbox would make the perfect “pear!”

FRUITS-A-PLENTY

This season, we have harvested more than 8500 lbs of fruit with the help of over 140 volunteers! There are 2571 trees registered in the program, spanning a radius of almost 90 miles across the Wasatch Front! We more than doubled the pounds of cherries we harvested this year alone! FruitShare is not just limited to Salt Lake City, so spread the word!

Don’t worry if your fruit trees haven’t been doing so great this year- It’s been a tough one on them! Due to a late May freeze, and pollination issues during blooms making it hard for pollinators to get their job done, you may not be seeing fruit yields like what you’re used to. If you have questions or concerns about your fruit trees, feel free to email pickfruit@gulb.org!

SPECIAL THANKS

Thank you to all of our Fruit Partners! These are local businesses and nonprofits who put to use harvested fruit that would otherwise be composted.

Our current Fruit Partners include:

Mountain West Hard Cider 

The Bagel Project
BittersLab
The Rose Establishment
Hells Backbone
Sunnyvale Farmers Market
Wasatch Community Gardens GreenTeam Farm

O-Town Kitchen

If your business or organization is interested in becoming a Fruit Partner, please email fruitshare@gulb.org


For more information and volunteer opportunities, visit The Green Urban Lunch Box’s website

FAQs sheet

Email: fruitshare@gulb.org or pickfruit@gulb.org

Phone: (801) 318-1745

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