(Above) Harvest share volunteer Allan Ralston and (below) manager Clayton Fenrick picking plums at Cartwheel Farm.

(Above) Harvest share volunteer Allan Ralston and (below) manager Clayton Fenrick picking plums at Cartwheel Farm.

Harvest Share going strong with 15,000 pounds picked in Creston Valley

Creston Valley Food Action Coalition's Harvest Share program picks reach 15,000 pounds, with a month or so left in the season...

With over 15,000 pounds picked so far, Harvest Share is still going strong a few weeks away from finishing for the season.

The Creston Valley Food Action Coalition program harvests fruit and vegetables from homeowners who are unable to pick it, and then gives one-third to the owner, one-third to the volunteers and one-third to food banks, churches, schools and the Therapeutic Activation Program for Seniors.

“The food bank has been going through lots,” said Harvest Share manager Clayton Fenrick. “All the churches are supportive, and the schools were happy to see us right away. Everybody is really happy to get fruit to share.”

This summer’s warm weather got the program off to an early start, with the first pick on June 29, cherries on the schedule for most of July, and apples and pears ready at the same time.

“Everything was three weeks to a month early, so that kind of squishes the season,” said Fenrick.

The 15,000 pounds collected so far has come from 59 picks, which included 4,500 pounds of pears in three days, and 25 pickers spending over seven hours in one day picking cherries. With potatoes, winter pears, walnut and hazelnuts still to come, there’s a chance that last year’s 33,000 pounds will be matched.

The program has had help transporting all of this season’s fruit and veggies thanks to the donation of a used truck by Kokanee Ford.

“And it’s a great truck,” said Fenrick.

Harvest Share also started a new initiative this season, hosting five workshops to teach canning and jam making, helping ensure that what this season’s 99 volunteers picked doesn’t go to waste — and adding a great social aspect to the program.

“You get to meet so many people,” Fenrick said. “Everyone involved is friendly and personable.”

For more information, contact Clayton Fenrick at 250-254-1165 or crestonharvestshare@gmail.com.

Creston Valley Advance