There are opportunities to get involved in all phases of the organization’s activities as a member of LUrC. There is no fee to join. In exchange for work, members share the products of the harvest. The best way to keep abreast of harvests and other activities is to sign up for our Google Group listserv.
Our harvesting season starts in June with the first mulberries and goes into October with the last of the quince. Each year, we harvest an average of 5,000 pounds of fruit, including cherries, apricots, plums, peaches, pears, and apples with each harvest averaging 70 pounds. Harvests teams are usually made up of a lead harvester and 1-4 other members. Harvest members receive 20 percent of the final product of the harvest.
During the harvest season, we try to preserve all of our harvest through canning, pickling, drying, and fermenting. After each harvest, the members of the harvest team may decide to preserve the fruit themselves or farm out the task to members with experience making preserves. Preservers keep 70% of what they make and harvesters receive 20%. We return 10% to the owners to thank them for their fruit!
Members who do not have experience making preserves can offer to help canners sort, wash, pit, peel, and chop fruit from large harvests to prepare it for preserving. This is a great way to get introduced to the process of making preserves.
In addition, we have hosted an annual group apple cidering event at which we process an average of 800 pounds of apples in a single day, making many gallons of both hard and soft cider.
The following are five additional ways to get involved with LUrC beyond harvesting and preserving. All of these tasks are very important to ensuring that LUrC is successful each year. Please contact us if you are interested in helping in any of these areas.
Ladder Ferries haul our 8-foot trailer loaded with tools and/or fruit to harvest sites and fruit drops. Harvest leaders can request a ladder ferry for their harvest in exchange for a percentage of the harvest preserves.
Site coordinators are responsible for overseeing one or more fruit trees in the LUrC database. Each year, they contact the owner to confirm that the site is available for harvesting, and then check the fruit during harvest season to determine when it is ready to harvest. Once they determine the fruit is ready for harvest, they contact the owner to schedule a harvest.
Tree scouts bike or walk around the city finding new fruit trees for our database. When they find a new fruit tree, they are asked to email urbanapplesauce (at) gmail (dot) com, and leave a flyer at the site. If they are comfortable talking to strangers, they should knock on the door and let the owner know about LUrC. There are still trees to be discovered!
LUrC is always looking for help with software development, database design, website development and design, and building tools and trailers.