Ides 80: Communitree
Toronto is a city of trees, having one of the most luxuriant canopies on Earth. The city plants over 100,000 new trees a year in addition to whatever private landowners plant, so it should come as no surprise that over 700,000 kilos of fruit grow here each year.
But anyone who lives in the city knows that a lot of that fruit goes to waste, either mashed on sidewalks or rotting in people’s backyards. In 2008, a woman named Laura Reinsborough figured there had to be a way to put all that fruit to use, and started an organization to pick, share, use, and preserve the fruit.
Not Far From The Tree has found a home for over 100,000 kilos of fruit since then through volunteer picks, sharing one-third of the fruit with the tree owners, one-third amongst volunteer pickers, and one-third with food banks, community kitchens, supportive housing programs, and community health centres in the GTA.
Beginning in 2023, Henderson Brewing will be partnering with Not Far From The Tree to support their volunteers, provide a location to store and sell surplus fruit and, unsurprisingly, make beer with it.
Finishing slightly dry, encouraging another sip, this tart, fruity, refreshing sour ale is a toast to all the volunteers who have saved fruit from sidewalks and compost piles these past 14 years and it’s also hint of what might be brewing at Henderson next summer.