While Calgary may not be surrounded by orchards filled with sweet, red apples or those juicy plump cherries, there are several ways to enjoy the fruit of the season around the city in August and September. It’s even better when you know that you are using food that might otherwise go to waste, so grab your buckets and ladders, and join the Calgary community harvest!

Community Orchards

Organizations like Enactus Calgary have been planting a number of community orchards around the city. These initiatives help beautify our space, reduce our carbon footprint, and provide nutritious food, even while in the early stages of such projects. We stumbled upon the City of Calgary orchard at Ralph Klein Park one summer evening a few years ago, and filled a bag with delicious crab apples that were perfect for snacking.

Community Orchard (Family Fun Calgary)

The City of Calgary Community Orchard at Ralph Klein Park

Calgary Harvest

Calgary Harvest is a project under the Permaculture Calgary Guild that aims to harvest local fruit from registered trees in the City of Calgary, so Calgarians can enjoy a delicious and local food source. They match trees with excess fruit with harvesters, to ensure good food doesn’t go to waste. Anyone with a fruit tree can register their trees if they do not want to use all the fruit themselves and anyone who wants to harvest can sign up to find out when and where the harvests will be. When a team of harvesters heads out, the homeowner is entitled to 1/3 of the harvest, Calgary Harvest takes 1/3 to distribute (think local food organizations who could use the produce), and the other 1/3 is divided amongst the harvesters. Most of the fruit is apples and crabapples, but sometimes you’ll get pears, plums, and sour cherries.

Find Fruit Near You

How do you get in touch with fruit that is available in your neighbourhood? One website is www.fallingfruit.org. This comprehensive website has quite a few Calgary locations and they describe themselves as “a celebration of the overlooked culinary bounty of our city streets.” Be sure to double-check for accuracy and consider the ethics of urban foraging. Many of the markers on the Calgary map are also private – be sure to follow all laws regarding trespassing.

Fresh, local food and community cooperation equal a healthier community and less waste in our food cycle. Join the harvest in Calgary this year!