Some help with home harvest

Wildsight's Apple Capture program turns backyard fruit into backyard bounty.

  • Sep. 21, 2012 12:00 p.m.

Ben Carter is pictured using the apple press.

As reported in Thursday’s Bulletin/Townsman, Kimberley/Cranbrook residents are experiencing a bumper year for backyard fruit trees.

And also a bumper year for bear sightings.

To avoid human/wildlife conflict, picking your fruit trees is a must, and Wildsight’s Apple Capture Project wants to help you, either by supplying the name of someone who will pick your unwanted fruit, or by providing equipment so you can preserve your fruit.

In 2011, Wildsight piloted the Apple Capture Project in Kimberley, purchasing a 36-litre commercial fruit press and grinder, as well as efficient dehydrators and all the equipment required to pick fruit and maintain trees (ladders, pickers, bags, pruning saws).  The program was quite successful, and community groups from Cranbrook were excited about it too.

All this equipment is available simply by going to www.wildsight.ca/apples. There you can sign up to borrow the apple preserving equipment and/or the press and also connect with people who are looking for fruit.

Jessica Windle from Wildsight says that there are actually a lot more people willing to pick in return for the fruit than there are those whose fruit needs picking at the moment.

“There are lots of pickers,” she said. “We need more fruit. We are here to connect them. If you have trees, we’ll post it on the website and then someone will contact you. It won’t happen overnight though.”

But what Windle really wants to promote right now is the availability of the equipment.

“We have three presses, two in Kimberley, one in Cranbrook. These are for juice, or hard cider. You can sign up to borrow them on the website. It’s a really good community resource. We are seeing schools and other groups using them.”

Wildsight will also be hosting two community apple-pressing days, where anyone is welcome to bring their own apples to be made into juice!  In Kimberley this will take place at the Kimberley Community Fair Sept. 29 and 30, and in Cranbrook it will be at the last Farmer’s Market on October 6.  Community members should bring their own clean glass or plastic containers to hold juice as well.

If you have any questions, contact Windle at jessica@wildsight.ca or 250 427 2535 ext 223.

 

Carolyn Grant

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