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Bikes help power non-profit’s fruit tree harvest

Posted by on August 19th, 2013 at 12:47 pm

Bike-powered urban fruit tree harvesters.
(Photos by Betsy Reese)

Back in May, we shared how the connection between bikes and urban trees here in Portland is so strong it’s garnered national recognition. Now there’s another tree-related non-profit that has tapped into the power of bicycles to help further their mission.

The Portland Fruit Tree Project had a “Bike-Powered Harvesting Party” on Saturday in southeast Portland. The non-profit organizes volunteers to harvest and take care of fruit trees that would otherwise be neglected. Half of the fruit goes to a local food bank (via their distribution partner Urban Gleaners) and the rest is taken home by everyone who participates in the harvest.

On Saturday, A group of folks used bicycles and cargo trailers to harvest pears and plums from trees grown in various backyards in the Richmond neighborhood. All their tools, reaching poles, ladders, boxes of fruit and so on, were carried by bike. After the fruit had been picked, local bicycle delivery company Portland Pedal Power showed up to transport the fruit to Urban Gleaners and local school summer lunch programs.

Reader Betsy Reese attended the event and shared a recap and a few photos…

We love seeing human-power and bicycles being used for such a good cause. Thanks for the photos and the heads up Betsy. And thanks to all the volunteers who showed up by bike.

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  • 9watts August 19, 2013 at 1:38 pm

    bike trailers and free fruit – it doesn’t get any better than that! Hats of to the Fruit Tree Project for doing this.

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  • CaptainKarma August 19, 2013 at 2:07 pm

    Wish I’d a known before-hand. ;-(

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    • Spiffy August 19, 2013 at 2:45 pm

      I only knew ahead of time because they sent out a request for a trailer on the Shift list…

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    • 9watts August 19, 2013 at 3:41 pm

      There are a bunch more scheduled. The next one is this coming Saturday. You didn’t miss your only chance.

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  • Jenn Dederich August 19, 2013 at 3:43 pm

    Super fun group… We were able to deliver over a 100 pounds of fruit that would have went to waste otherwise. Thanks to both the Portland Fruit Tree Project and Urban Gleaners for giving us a chance to help make a difference. We cannot wait for the next event!!

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  • HDK August 19, 2013 at 3:46 pm

    PFTP has several harvests a week through the fall–you can sign up for their email list on their webiste ( Bicyclists are of course encouraged to attend any harvest–not just the bike-specific saturday Richmond ones.

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  • Kyra Plume August 19, 2013 at 3:49 pm

    There are five more bike powered harvests this summer and fall. Check in with Portland fruit tree project fro more info.

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