Education is a large part of outreach and brand recognition at City Fruit. Trainings and community courses help raise awareness about the urban fruit tree canopy and can reduce food waste from productive trees in the community.
● Every month City Fruit hosts a class at the City People’s Garden Store. Topics are fruit tree related and led by a City Fruit volunteer or tree owner willing to share their experience at no cost. Topics are seasonally appropriate and in the 2015 year included: winter pruning, planting fruit trees, planning the urban garden and orchard, caring for unusual fruit varieties, permaculture, espalier pruning, apple cider pressing, and pest prevention.
● Promotion of classes can be done through social media, the P-Patch listserv and online newsletters. Begin promoting these classes a few weeks in advance.
● Classes put on by City Fruit are meant to be fundraisers, and participants pay their admission through the cityfruit.org website. A series of six classes are organized for winter pruning in the months of January-March. At the end of the harvest season, a thank you note is sent out to tree owners who donated their produce along with a survey with a question about their interest in hosting a pruning class during the winter months. The benefits to the tree owner include networking with local tree stewards and pruning their fruit trees at no cost by participants. The tree owners who are interested should be contacted 2-3 months in advance to set a date for a pruning session on their property.
○ Promotion of these classes start 6 weeks prior to each of the sessions with a blurb in the monthly newsletter and press releases to local neighborhood blogs (corresponding to the location of each of each class).
○ There is consistent social media promotion leading up to the sessions. A blog post with pictures from years previous often increases participation and sign-ups.
● In 2015 City Fruit partnered with Seattle Public Utilities to develop a class on waste reduction focused on residential food waste. City Fruit is a natural partner due to its mission of harvesting excess fruit for the benefit of food pantry clients and the local community. Between February and July the Harvest VISTA developed a curriculum that incorporated both excess summer fruits and vegetables and used recipes and preservation techniques that incorporated the high waste target population of middle-upper income young families. An instructor familiar to City Fruit was recruited to edit and teach the curriculum and add personal experience.
○ According to research done by Seattle Public Utilities, the shopping location of their target population was Whole Foods. City Fruit reached out to Whole Foods for classroom space and they graciously donated the space and time for the class in support for the purpose of decreasing produce waste in the home for their own clientele.
○ Promotion for this class included an email to the P-Patch listserv, promotion on social media of both organizations and a printed flyer for local poster boards. Reminder emails were sent two days before the class and thank you notes were sent two days after the class to all attendees.
City Fruit promotes the cultivation of urban fruit in order to nourish people, build community and protect the climate. We help tree owners grow healthy fruit, provide assistance in harvesting and preserving fruit, promote the sharing of extra fruit, and work to protect urban fruit trees. Our programs include harvesting unwanted fruit from private properties, stewarding and harvesting public orchards, training orchard stewards, and delivering the thousands of pounds of gleaned fruit to organizations who can distribute it to people who need it most: food banks, senior centers, homeless shelters, low-income housing programs, lunch programs, daycares and more.