These volunteers contact tree donors to schedule harvests, send out announcements to volunteers, plan the logistics for the harvests, and harvest fruit alongside other volunteers. Their commitment to the project and their communities is what makes the Community Fruit Tree Harvest possible.
One of the great aspects of the fruit harvest is the opportunity to get to know each other while we harvest. And here's your opportunity to get to know one of our Harvest Leads: Phil Hecht, of Ballard.
Phil is a general contractor by day, and as you can see from his picture, an avid fisherman. His organizational skills and enthusiasm for harvesting fruit have been great additions to the Community Fruit Tree Harvest this year.
What got you interested in volunteering with the Community Fruit Tree Harvest?
Phil: I read about it on the Sustainable Ballard newsletter. I volunteer to do habitat restoration for salmon and steelhead, but don't do anything for folks in need directly. I love trees, gardening and being outside...so it seemed like a great opportunity. Now that I'm involved, I am certain that I made the right decision.
What has been the most rewarding part of the program so far?
Phil: It is a tie...I love meeting the other harvesters, donors, and other people involved. However it impacts me deeply when we deliver the fruit. The excitement and gratitude is moving.
What is your favorite fruit to harvest and why?
Phil: Honestly anything in a big, tall tree. If I have to pick though, pears. They are hard and hurt if they bonk you. Exciting!
A big thank you to Phil, Eunice, and Rita for leading neighborhoods harvests this summer, and to all the volunteers who stepped up to lead individual harvests and scout trees. You all are the heart of this program, and it's been a pleasure to work with you this season!