Portlanders who are wondering what to do with all the fruit falling from their trees, are being asked to call the Portland Fruit Tree Project.
The non-profit is collecting record amounts of fruit this year, and sharing it with food pantries, tree owners and volunteers.
Portland’s harvest season runs from June to November. It’s coming to the end of the apple and pear seasons now, but the fig season is about to start.
Katy Kolker, the executive director of the Portland Fruit Tree Project, says 1800 fruit trees are registered in the city — some were planted recently but have been neglected.
Others date back to the city’s agrarian past.
“I’m think in particular of one little neighborhood in sort of the Alameda area in Northeast Portland, where many different houses on the same block have the same type of pear tree. They’re all clearly the same age. They look pretty different because they’re managed differently. But it’s clear that they’re all part of an orchard that became a neighborhood,” Kolker says.
According to Kolker about a dozen volunteers generally harvest one tree at a time. Half the fruit goes to non-profits that feed the hungry, volunteers get the rest — unless the owner wants some.
That seldom happens because they’ve usually already had their fill.