Orchard ladders, or tripod ladders, have three legs to increase stability and allow gleaners to position the ladder securely between branches when picking high fruit. They’re available in various heights. Spokane Edible Tree Project owns 10-foot orchard ladders, which are secured to a truck with ratchet straps for safe transport. Some commercial orchards loan SETP ladders for gleans on their property.
These platforms give gleaning volunteers an extra boost for picking fruit that’s difficult to reach from the ground. SETP uses sturdy platforms with folding legs that lock into place.
Harvest Bags & Harvest Aprons
Harvest bags and harvest aprons have pouches that can be used to collect fruit. They can be secured to the body with straps, freeing up hands to harvest.
These tools have a small basket with prongs mounted on a pole, and are great for reaching high fruit. The prongs are used to gently pull the fruit from branches into the basket. A foam pad can be placed in the basket to minimize bruising of fruit.
Having crates of a consistent length and width makes them easy to stack. SETP uses foldable crates, also known as RPCs (reusable plastic crates), for easy storage.
Food-grade buckets, such as 5-gallon restaurant buckets, can be used for storing and transporting fruit.
Spokane Edible Tree Project (SETP) was founded in 2013 by former Harvest Against Hunger Americorps VISTA Kate Burke. Through her work in a produce recovery position at Second Harvest Food Bank, she recognized the abundance of fruit trees in Spokane County and noticed that much of this fruit goes to waste. SETP was formed to fill this gap in the system and to empower the community to share the resources that are so abundantly available to them. SETP became a certified 501(c)(3) in 2015. The organization is currently run by community volunteers and a Harvest Against Hunger AmeriCorps VISTA.
In 2016, SETP recruited their first Harvest Against Hunger AmeriCorps VISTA, who served as the program coordinator for the organization. The second-year VISTA (2017-2018) expanded the program to include gleaning produce from the Spokane Farmers’ Market. Their third-year VISTA (2018-2019) continues to coordinate gleaning, outreach, volunteer recruitment, grant-writing, and educational programming. Together, the work of the three VISTA’s prevented more than 100,000 pounds of produce from going to waste in Spokane County. Additionally, WSU Extension of Spokane County has been a valuable partner for SETP, supporting and supervising the AmeriCorps VISTA. The extension office has also been an essential partner in developing SETP’s educational program.