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Fruit Pickers are the backbone of the Okanagan Fruit Tree Project. As a Fruit Picker, you choose which of our picks to attend and then join us in harvesting delicious fruit, vegetables, and nuts to share with our community.
It’s easy and convenient to volunteer with us:
- Register as a volunteer to start receiving emails about upcoming fruit picks.
- Choose which picks you’d like to volunteer at by replying to the emails. Pickers are selected on a first come, first serve basis.
- If you are selected for the pick, we’ll send you the details of where the tree is. If you have a ladder, bucket/picking bag, or gloves, bring them along with you (not required).
- Meet the Harvest Leader and other volunteers at the location and we pick the fruit tree together! Picks last approximately 1-2 hours. Fruit is shared among local organizations serving those in need, the tree owner, and volunteers. It’s really that easy!
* Our volunteer sign up system is first-come, first-served right now, but our Coordinators keep track to ensure everyone has a chance to volunteer.
Check out our Frequently Asked Questions (hyperlink?) for more information about your volunteer experience with us.
Contact us or fill out this form (Mail Chimp) to get involved!
Everything you need to know about picking fruit with us!
How it works:
- The coordinator sends an email out to the volunteer list with the date, time, and general area of the pick.
- Our volunteer system is flexible! Reply to the email if you would like to help. Please tell us if you:
- Have a ladder to bring (not required, but it’s helpful)
- Are bringing a friend, your significant other, or your children. For safety reasons there is only room for so many people at one pick.
- Need a ride – we do our best to arrange carpools between volunteers.
- If you are chosen to volunteer, the coordinator will send you the exact address and details.
- Those who reply first to emails are chosen to volunteer at the picks.
- However, our coordinator will be watching to see if there are people who have not had an opportunity to volunteer yet!
- We realize this isn’t the best way to do things yet, but please be patient as we sort it out 🙂
- We can’t thank our volunteers enough! We are humbled by the huge number of amazing people who want to volunteer with us! We are currently working on figuring out the best way to ensure that everyone gets a chance to volunteer with us. Please visit our site again at a later date to check for more volunteer opportunities.
- At the pick:
- Every new volunteer is required to sign a waiver.
- You are responsible for bringing your own bag/box/container for bringing home fruit in. Please don’t forget sunscreen, water, snacks, and an epi-pen if you need one.
- Do your best to honour your commitment to attend the pick you’ve chosen, respect the tree owner’s’ property (don’t climb trees if they are old), respect your fellow volunteers, practice good ladder safety, ask for help if you need it, and have fun!
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Looking to take on a more challenging and exciting leadership role?
Harvest Leaders are specially-trained volunteers that go the extra mile to help get the fruit from the tree to the charities we support!
- Picking up equipment from our storage shed (with your own vehicle) before the pick starts
- Greeting volunteers and leading a safe and fun pick
- Delivering fruit to local charities afterwards
- Bringing equipment back to the storage shed
- Filling out a short post-pick report. Easy!
* Approximately a 4-5 hour volunteer shift.
- Access to a vehicle that can fit picking equipment (should be able to fit at least one six foot ladder, picking buckets, and multiple 2×3 foot stackable plastic totes. 4 door cars can often fit this equipment too)
- Energetic and passionate
- Able to supervisor volunteers and ensure safe use of picking equipment
- Able to deliver fruit to a variety of organizations after the pick
- Available to lead a pick once/week or bi-weekly in the morning (9:00 am) OR evening (5:30pm) OR on weekends (flexible time)
No experience necessary, training provided!
Harvest Leader Perks:
- First-choice of picks: our volunteer opportunities are in high demand and our fruit picks fill up fast. Guarantee your spot by signing up to lead.
- Steady supply of fruit: think cherries, apricots, plums, pears, and apples – yum!
- Family and friends: bring your peeps along with you. They will have the first option to attend the pick before volunteers.
- Give back to the community in a meaningful way: reduce food waste, help feed our community, and meet new people.
- Sharpen your leadership skills: gain valuable work experience. We are happy to provide reference letters!
Contact us (to Mail Chimp opt-in) for more information about becoming a Harvest Leader.
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Fruit Runners Help us deliver fresh, local fruit to charities out in the community.
- Choose what mornings you are available (Ideally, we’d like Fruit Runners to commit to a specific day each week or bi-weekly)*
- Meet us at the pick site or storage site
- Load the fruit in your vehicle
- Deliver it to a number of designated organizations
- Pick up empty totes from the organizations you drop the fruit off at
- Return the totes to our storage shed
*Approximately a 2-4 hours volunteer shift.
- A large vehicle/trailer to deliver fruit-pick
- Ability to lift 50 pounds
- Fruit runners must be interested in building stronger relationships with the organizations we donate to. This involves promoting the project when dropping off fruit and talking to the representatives to see what their needs are, how the donations are working for them, and reporting back to us.
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Fruit Tree Scouts pre-inspect fruit trees to ensure they are bug-free, ripe and ready for picking
- Tag along with our wonderful Tree Care specialist and learn about fruit tree care and how to tell when different fruits are perfect for picking
- After you’ve received some training, the coordinator will contact you to inspect upcoming fruit trees to see if they are in good condition for picking
This is a more flexible, on-call volunteer opportunity