How do I find out about harvests?
Harvests are posted on the listserv during harvest season. To join a harvest simply respond to the postings. Join the listserv here.
Can I participate if I don’t have any experience?
Definitely! Most of our members join without ever having harvested fruit, made preserves, or pruned trees. New members learn these skills working alongside experienced members.
Isn’t fruit from the city bad to eat?
LURC is part of an ongoing study to answer this very question! Prof. Dan Brabander at Wellesley College and his students have tested samples of fruit collected by LURC for lead and arsenic, and found that our urban fruit does not contain significant amounts of these toxins. In fact, our fruit appears to have higher levels of some micronutrients than commercial fruit! Read more about the study here. Of course, all participants harvest and consume fruit at their own risk.
Does LUrC sell fruit?
No. None of our fruit is processed in a certified kitchen, so it is unavailable for sale.
Does LUrC donate fruit?
Some. LUrC is a completely non-financial self-sustaining operation open to everyone with members from a wide range of social and economic backgrounds. On occasion, members of LUrC have donated harvested fruit to local food programs.
Is LUrC a non-profit?
No. LUrC’s organizational model works with essentially no budget, so unlike a non-profit, it does not require money from the community for overhead and operating expenses.
How much fruit will I keep?
We suggest that final product from a harvest is divided with 10 percent going to owners, 20 percent going to harvesters, and 70 percent going to canners. Canning is a lot of work and requires the most resources. These numbers are recommendations and can vary depending on the work involved.
Can I just harvest fruit and not preserve it?
Sure! Harvesters are only responsible for harvesting. Harvest leaders are responsible for making sure the fruit gets processed. All harvesters receive 20% of the total processed fruit.
Can I just preserve fruit and not harvest it?
Sure! Before and after big harvests, harvest leaders may post to the listserv to find members interested in preserving fruit. Members who preserve fruit keep 70% of what they make and return 30% to the harvest leader (20% for harvesters and 10% for the owner). Fruit is generally preserved in members' own kitchens.
Can I preserve fruit in ways other than canning, or eat it fresh?
Absolutely! Members have made dried fruit, fruit-infused alcohols or vinegars, fermented fruit products, frozen fruit, etc. Some members prefer to eat their harvest fresh. If you do that, we ask that you make sure to get 10% back to the owners -- a pie or some other baked good works nicely.
What if I don’t live in Somerville or Cambridge?
While the focus of our operation is mostly on Cambridge and Somerville, we welcome members from other cities and will harvest trees within biking distance. One of our goals though is to stay small, so if you live further away, we encourage you to start a similar organization in your community!