Gratitude

The Okanagan Fruit Tree Project would not be where it is today without the efforts of so many generous people and organizations! This is truly a community-driven project and there are so many people who help in little and big ways.

We have fruitful amounts of gratitude to everyone who makes this project possible:

OUR VOLUNTEERS

  • BIG thanks to all our amazing volunteers. This project would not be possible without you! Our volunteers have helped us harvest hundreds of thousands of pounds of fruit to share with the community.

2016

  • City of Penticton – awarded us a grant of $8,000.

  • Central Okanagan Foundation (COF) – an wonderful source of support that is playing a key role in helping our organization work towards long-term growth and sustainability: Awarded $8,000/year for 3 years.

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  • City of Kelowna – the Community Social Development Grant has helped us grow our Tree Care Program in Kelowna. This program seeks to provide education and support to tree owners to maintain our agricultural heritage and grow health delicious fruit. Awarded a $5,000 grant.

  • Ogopogo Rotary – huge thanks to the ongoing support of this group who donated $1,000 towards funding a second storage shed for our growing equipment needs.

  • Unless Market and Choices Market/Choices Family Night Market – these amazing local businesses helped us sell our 100% local apple juice!

    2015

  • Microsoft – we were surprised and thrilled when Microsoft approached the OFTP to film a commercial about what we do. It was so much fun filming it!  Watch our video here. They also donated a new equipment shed, ladders, buckets, t-shirts and other swag, and a tablet to our organization. More equipment meant we could pick more fruit than ever before: we harvested a total of 58,700 pounds of fresh fruit in 2015.

  • City of Penticton – awarded the OFTP a $ 10,000 grant. We used this to hire Deb Thorneycroft to coordinate picks in the area. She has done an amazing job growing the project and connecting the community around locally gleaned food.

  • COF – awarded the OFTP $10,000 for our Collaborative Harvest Program. We had lots of fun picking fruit with participants from the Canadian Mental Health Association, Freedom’s Door, NOW Canada, and the Karis Support Society.

  • City of Kelowna Community Social Development Grant awarded us $2,387 to continue growing our picking operations.

  • Great Apple Harvest – A great collaboration between our volunteers and an orchardist for coming together to pick 12,000 poounds of apples. Shout out to the Mobile Juice Factory for pressing them all into fresh juice to sell as a fundraiser! Check out a short video of the apple juicing process here.

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  • Ogopogo Rotary – helped in a big way by donating $1000 worth of new totes for transporting our fruit! These were a game changer for us! In the past, we spent a lot of time rounding up banana boxes from grocery stores, but now we have reusable totes!

2014

Learning to fly.

  • Central Okanagan Food Policy Council – incubated and nurtured the OFTP as one of its actions projects until we became a separate non-profit organization in 2014. We continue to work in close partnership with the COFPC.

  • Alisa Senecal volunteered to coordinate the program in Penticton and we expanded our operations further south.

  • The COF awarded us $10,600 to launch our Collaborative Harvest program – and what a success it was! We picked fruit with the Canadian Mental Health Association, Cool Arts, and Karis Support Society.

  • The City of Kelowna Community Social Development Grant awarded us $10,000 to continue expanding our picking operations.

  • Central Okanagan Community Food Bank – provided an in-kind office space that we later began renting in 2015. We now had a central location to meet volunteers and store equipment.

  • We started a partnership with OGO Car-Share funded by the COF. Use of the OGO truck has allowed us to pick and donate more fruit in the community over the years.

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  • Kelowna Sunrise Rotary – granted us $2,320 to buy much needed ladders for our project to ensure safe and fun picks for all volunteers.

  • Bob McCoubrey – shared his expertise about tree care and maintenance with us throughout the 2014-2016 seasons. We also held a potluck educational session for volunteers to learn more about fruit trees and Bob pre-inspected fruit trees for quality before volunteers picked them. Thanks Bob!

    2013

    A little money goes a long way

  • The Fruit Tree Project received its first grant money! Specific thanks goes to Casey Hamilton and Julie Steffler for writing the grant application and of course to the City of Kelowna Community Social Development grant and the Central Okanagan Foundation for recommending we receive $5000! With this money we were able to hire our first paid coordinator – Ailsa Beischer – who turned out to be one of the best gifts the Okanagan Fruit Tree Project could ever ask for!

  • Thank you to Ruth Mellor for successfully procuring another $1000 from the Canadian Federation of University Women.

  • Great Apple Harvest – BIG thanks to all of our volunteers, Summerhill Winery, a local orchardist, and Juicing Company for helping up pick and press apples into Wild Macintosh Apple Juice to sell as a fundraiser.

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  • Throughout the season the Okanagan Fruit Tree Project received donations of equipment and gift certificates. Thank you goes to:

  • Okanagan Growers Supply
  • Home Hardware West Kelowna
  • Home Depot West Kelowna
  • Springfield Bulk Food
  • Nature’s Fare
  • Urban Harvest
  • Private Donors
  • The Okanagan Fruit Tree Project had the opportunity to present their project at a pitch competition for the Okanagan Changemakers ChangeUP 2013 and won first place in the non-profit category! The $3000 and $750 worth of mentorship went towards the research of the expansion of the Great Apple Harvest Juice Fundraiser as a social enterprise concept. Thanks to all those who voted for us!!!

    2012

  • The Fruit Tree Project launch

  • The first season was a LOT of work! Casey Hamilton and Laura Hsu worked tirelessly to ensure the success of the project. It’s incredible was can be accomplished with a couple of dedicated ladies and some incredible volunteers!

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  • 2011
  • The original planning committee

  • Months of planning and research went into the development of the Okanagan Fruit Tree Project! The planning committee was a committee of the Central Okanagan Food Policy Council – the organization that incubated this fantastic community project! Recognition goes out to:

  • Jessica Goerzen
    Christian Grieves
    Casey Hamilton
    Laura Hsu
    Jill McDowell
    Alisa Senecal

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  • The Planning Committee connected with several Fruit Tree Projects in North America. They would especially like to acknowledge the Vancouver Fruit Tree Project, who share some of their resources with the group and made the planning that much better!

  • The logo design was done in-kind by the incredible Corbin Thomas, our fantastic graphic designer who we continue to work with today.