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Tri-Cities Gleaners Guild

Jun 25, 2014 10:00 PM

Posted by Jennifer Marshman

The Tri-Cities Gleaners Guild

A very old practice is laying down new roots in Waterloo Region! The Tri-Cities Gleaners Guild is looking for volunteers of all kinds! Tired of seeing your fruit trees drop rotten fruit all over your yard? We can help! Love eating freshly picked food and spending time with like-minded people? Harvesters will receive 1/3 of the harvest to enjoy themselves, as well as the satisfaction that hard work and friendly companionship brings!

Urban gleaning can be defined as the collection and distribution of fruits and vegetables from public land and backyard gardens.Gleaning activities have inspired groups across North America to create a network of volunteer harvesters!

In Canada, gleaning projects have sprung up from the East Coast to the West Coast. In Ontario, the various initiatives include Not Far From the Tree (Toronto, ON)
, The Fruit Tree Project (Hamilton, ON), The Mississauga Fruit Tree Project (Mississauga, ON), and The Apple Seed Collective Revival (Guelph, ON). And now, thanks to renewed local excitement, we have our very own Tri-Cities Gleaners Guild!

Cherries on a cherry tree         Photo from creative commons on Pixabay by music4life

The usual design for this type of project is that volunteers harvest fruit on public or private land that might otherwise go to waste. One third of the harvest goes to the volunteers, 1/3 to the property owner, and 1/3 gets donated to local organizations such as the Food Bank or local soup kitchens.

There is a wide range of interest from many active groups across the region as our own gleaning project comes to fruition. So far, there are representatives from the following groups / organizations:

The Food Bank of Waterloo Region

The House of Friendship

Incredible Edible KW

KW Urban Harvester

Queen's Green

The Region of Waterloo

The Salvation Army

Two Crows Growery

The University of Waterloo

Wilfred Laurier University

WR Food System Roundtable


       Photo from Wikipedia commons by Drake Brookshaw.



Website creation, mailing list, database of food locations to be harvested, database of volunteers, all to be developed!

We are also building a partnership with The Salvation Army Community and Family Services in Kitchener to share harvested food, and even run some workshops such as jam making and juicing. We look forward to partnering with other local organizations for more exciting projects!


As you can see, we are just getting off the ground! You may have some questions!


Q: What does this mean for me?
This is your chance to get involved in an exciting and important initiative in your community from the beginning!

            Photo from Wikipedia creative commons by Stefan Kuhn

Q: How can I get involved?
A: A number of different types of “volunteers” are needed! There are so many ways to get involved!

Fruit Tree Owners: Do you have a fruit tree or some kind of edible on your property that you would like to see harvested and used? Are you tired of stepping on rotting fruit and seeing all that good food go to waste? Let us know! We can arrange to harvest it for you for free! Not only will you get 1/3 of the harvest without doing any of the work of harvesting, but you can also feel good about knowing that your generosity has resulted in a food donation to a local organization!

Does your place of work have fruit trees or food growing on their property? We would love for you to ask if they would like us to harvest the fruit for them, and let us know! We will come harvest for free, and we will leave them with 1/3 of the harvest (if desired)!

Do you have: A vehicle? A ladder? Containers for harvesting? Fruit pickers? We will need some supplies for harvesting, as well as a way to transport our harvests to the receiving organization(s). Anything you could provide would be greatly appreciated!

Volunteer harvesters: Volunteer hours could be as little as one harvest a year to as much time during the harvest seasons as you would like to donate! Harvesters will receive 1/3 of the harvest to enjoy themselves, as well as the satisfaction that hard work and friendly companionship brings!

Does this sound interesting? Please contact us to get involved! We would love to hear from you! We will be looking for volunteers very soon for Mulberry harvesting!

        Photo from creative commons by Pat from Pixabay


CONTACT INFORMATION - we want to hear from you!

Jennifer Marshman < gleanersguild@gmail.com >

Update! http://www.wrfoodsystem.ca/blog/2014/08/17/the-gleaners-guild-update


Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GleanersGuild


Post a New Comment 3 comment(s)

Our inaugural harvest was a resounding success, thanks to the efforts and enthusiasm of a great volunteer team! Details and photos coming soon - please contact me if you would like to be added to the volunteer email list, or if you would like us to harvest in your yard!
I agree with Kim, this is awesome! I've been aware of Not Far From the Tree's work in Toronto, so it's great this is getting going here.
This is a fantastic program - I'm going to post this to my office page so hopefully more people will get involved!


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