Raise Awareness about Your Program

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. These classes are available to the public and marketed through social media, the City Fruit website and our partners. Sometimes volunteers have hosted these classes. Classes are sometimes free to the public depending on whether we can secure sponsorship (like Whole Foods Markets) but usually have a fee between $15-25. 

  • 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 2016 year included: basic fruit tree biology, garden water management, planning an edible garden, summer and winter pruning, caring for unusual fruit varieties, permaculture, espalier fruit tree pruning, apple cider pressing, gardening for pollinators, and organic pest prevention.
  • Promotion of classes can be done through the City Fruit website, 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. Payment plans are available on a case by case basis. We do not ask for any proof of ability to pay. Participants can also volunteer for City Fruit or complete additional service hours in the orchards in lieu of payment.
  • 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 and 2016 City Fruit partnered with Seattle Public Utilities to develop classes 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. The curriculum, developed by both the Harvest VISTA and another staff member, that incorporates both excess summer fruits and vegetables and uses recipes and preservation techniques that incorporate 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  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.

In late 2013, City Fruit was chosen to take part in Rotary First Harvest’s AmeriCorps VISTA program, Harvest Against Hunger (HAH). This allowed the small team at City Fruit to start building capacity in ways it could never before with a new full-time VISTA member. This VISTA position deviates from the traditional Harvest Against Hunger VISTA because it does not include working directly with farms or meal program recipients in any way. Rather, City Fruit’s VISTA is a Community Outreach Coordinator whose tasks include building new relationships within the community to care for public orchards year-round, speaking with people about City Fruit’s mission and work about City Fruit at community festivals and events, and building the volunteer base through various volunteer programs including the Ambassador Program. The VISTA alsocontributes to blogs, social media outlets, and uses MailChimp to create volunteer newsletters, They also use Salesforce and the Volunteers for Salesforce plugin to create volunteer opportunities, record hours and keep in contact with all volunteers. 

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