If your tree has an abundance of fruit this season, consider these ways to use and share what you don't need:
Preserving - Learn how here.
Juicing citrus. Who doesn’t like fresh squeezed orange juice in the morning?
Making frozen citrus ice cubes then add them to your water as immune boosters. Learn how here.
Sharing your fruit to neighbors. Put a box of fruits on the curb or drop them off at the community farm stands around Los Altos Hills. There are three locations: corner of Manuella and Fremont, corner of Burke and Fremont, and Robleda.
Others bring them to work while some do a fruit exchange with friends for variety.
DIY – Donate It Yourself. It’s easy, dropping off a few bags of fruit at a time rather than all the harvest. Find organizations through the Community Fruit Drop Off Locations map. There are three locations in Mountain View that are accepting donations: Hope’s Corner, Community Services Agency of Mountain View and Los Altos Day Worker Center of Mountain View. The map also has drop off day info, address and if you need to call first. These pantries will appreciate fresh fruit from homes to provide healthy food options for people in need in our community.
Getting volunteers. Village Harvest can help find you volunteers. It's a local organization that brings volunteers together to help tree owners that can't harvest their own trees (no time or unable) then brings the bounty to pantries. Complete the sign up form here. If you have an orchard, Village Harvest has a sign up form for that too, here.
Concerned about liability? Village Harvest Q&A section states that there are provisions such as the Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act and California Code Section 58501-58509 to protect homeowners and encourage food donations to nonprofit organizations that will help those that could use it. As long as there's no gross negligence or intentional misconduct, homeowners are not legally liable.
Concerned that your oranges are not sweet? Don’t worry. Pantries will take them for their nutritional value. Village Harvest also addresses this in the Q&A.
Keep in mind there is a fruit fly quarantine in parts of San Jose and Campbell so Village Harvest is expanding efforts, including in our area, while the organization is unable to pick in this zone. Read more about it here.
Want to help? Village Harvest welcomes volunteers and can accommodate children, young adults and youth organizations. Register and find out more here. Once registered, volunteers can pick a harvesting event on the calendar. There’s one on the calendar for a home in Mountain View on the 6th.
Sharing is fun, gives back to the community and you'll be promoting sustainable use of our urban resources.
Even better, get your 15 seconds of fame by posting a picture of your fruit tree and share what you do. Tag us @GreenTownLosAltos #FruitHarvest. Share other great ideas in the comment section below. Happy Harvesting!