The Last Apple Canning of 2011

Today we spent our morning at the Porteguese Support Services on Barton St canning apples. We had a wonderful time, everyone was extremely nice, and they even fed us lunch! Everything got done quite quickly because of all the helpful people. It was the perfect way to use up the apples we had from Williams' farm.

Canning apples

While Fruit Tree has officially wrapped up for 2011, we are still dabbling here and there with canning / preserving workshops.

At the request of the Strathcona Neighbourhood Council, we gathered at Erskine Presbyterian Church and canned some apples.

Thanks to Dawn for organizing this event and for Erskine Church for letting us use their commercial kitchen.

Been Involved? We'd LOVE your feedback!

Hey there, if you have come out to events, or have let us pick from you, we would love to hear from you. We have a scrapbook for The Fruit Tree Project in the works and we'd love all of the info we can get.

Here are a couple questions that you can answer:

What attracted you to the Hamilton Fruit Tree Project?
What was your favourite / most memorable time?
Or, if you have other comments you can write up whatever you like.
Thanks a bunch, and we really look forward to hearing from you!

All emails can be sent to Kirsten, at
By Thursday December 8th, 2011.

Last Harvest of the Year!

It was a perfect day to spend outdoors, harvesting apples for Hamilton FoodShare.
The sun was shining and the air crisp at Williams Orchards in Milton, ON.

It was the last day of harvesting for Hamilton Fruit Tree Project, Hamilton FoodShare and Halton Fruit Tree Project and what a way to end the season - we harvested 7,000+ lbs of Ira Reds and Empires with the help and hard work of our amazing volunteers!

A huge thank you to Williams Orchards and farmers Elgin and Sandra (pictured below is Elgin) for their generosity - they even welcomed us into their homes as we broke bread ( roti, actually) for lunch.

Thank you to our partners, Hamilton FoodShare and Halton Fruit Tree Project - it was great to work together over the harvesting season and we look forward to 2012!

A big thank you to our volunteers who come out and work hard - always inspiring!

Hamilton Fruit Tree will be back in 2012.

Apple picking this Saturday

We are gearing up for our last pick of the year. Partnering with Hamilton FoodShare and Halton Fruit Tree Project, we are heading to Milton to harvest apples - talk about community partnerships!

Bushels of Onions!

Monday was a great day to shuck eight bushels of onions at Our Fathers Farm.

Fatima and Kirsten hard at work!
Thanks to Hamilton FoodShare and Our Fathers' Farm.

Apples at Dundurn

Thursday in the late afternoon we set out to Dundurn Castle to do some picking on the row of apple trees they have there. It wasn't the sunniest day, but we had a great turn out and everyone had a good time. We picked from four different trees and collected about 210 lbs. Thank you to everyone who came out after work and school to pick with us!

2.5 hours + 4 volunteers = 52 bushels of green peppers

Volunteer Elysia showing off her perfect pepper.

Peter Piper may have picked a peck of pickled peppers but we harvested 52 bushels of green peppers today.

Despite the rain and wind (and precious moments of sunlight) we were at Our Fathers Farm, Dundas, harvesting green peppers as part of Hamilton FoodShare's "Community Harvest".

Big thanks to our volunteers who worked hard and without complaint as the day got colder and we got muddier.

Thanks to Hamilton FoodShare and Our Fathers' Farm.

Apples on the Weekend

Saturday morning, the Hamilton Katimavik group set out to pick apples along with the Halton Fruit Tree Project. It was a beautiful day to pick the three rows of trees, with the many volunteers that came out. In total, almost 600 lbs of apples were picked. More than enough to fit in the back of van that was taking them away, and leave some for the owners of the orchard.


This lovely morning Kirsten, Fatima, and Aiyana, along with the crew from Our Father's Farm harvested rows of onions. They managed to pick eight rows, and filled about thirty baskets full.

Lots and lots of onions!

A full day of apples and corn

Monday, we began our day at Cumis in their beautiful orchard for the 20th Annual Apple Day where we harvested 8 boxes (approx. 75 lbs) of Red Delicious, and MacIntosh apples. It was a very well organized event, and we had a great time working along side one of their very helpful employees!

Photographed: Our group hard at work.

The second half of our day was spent at Parkside Farms gleening corn with Fatima from Hamilton Food Share where we picked 1300 lbs of corn.

Photographed: New Katimavik Intern, Kirsten, and the corn field at Parkside Farms.

A big thanks to Cumis, and to Farmer Ben at Parkside Farms for welcoming us to pick their delicious apples and corn! Also, thanks go out to Hamilton Food Share for picking up and distributing our pickings.

What a "Grape" weekend!

Over the weekend, we had back to back grape picks.

While the majority of the white, red and purple grapes went to Mission Services, today we held a "juicing" workshop for some of the kids at Robert Land Community Association in their after school program. We juiced the grapes and the kids loved it! It is so exciting to see kids trying new things and being open to tasting real juice!

Big thanks to all our volunteers that helped us pick grapes, vine owners for letting us come and harvest, volunteers at Robert Land and to Robert Land for letting us come and run our workshop.


It was deja-vu today, as we harvested roma tomatoes from Our Fathers' Farm, Dundas, ON. It was a perfect day with the sun shining and a cool breeze to keep us energized as we harvested 36 bushels today.

Pictured - Fatima (Hamilton FoodShare) and her almost three year old daughter.

Lets hope that the frost holds off as there are still plenty of tomatoes in the fields.

Thanks again to our volunteers who worked madly, Douglas - farmhand, Our Fathers' Farm and Hamilton FoodShare.


We are officially in our busy season!

We harvested over 1,000 lbs of apples on Saturday and Monday alone. Thanks to our volunteers and homeowners on Carpenter Avenue and Lister Avenue.

And the picks continue!

"To-Mate-o"? "Toe-mato?"

How ever you pronounce it, there is a lot of it at Our Fathers Farm, Dundas, ON.

In partnership with Ontario Food Bank Association and Hamilton FoodShare, Our Fathers Farm planted tomatoes and onions for foodbanks and all this week Fruit Tree volunteers have been busy harvesting cherry and roma tomatoes.

Thank you to worker, Douglas for guiding us and harvesting alongside us as we harvested (Pictured - top photo)

Thanks to Fatima for organizing the pick and Douglas for keeping us on track!
Many thanks to our volunteers who have been harvesting all week long - we could not do this without you all!

It was a corn fest at todays pick!

Have you eaten raw corn straight from the field? We have! And its tasty! A refreshing sweet treat when out on a hot day, picking corn.
Sam C takes a break to munch on some sweet corn.

Partnering with Hamilton FoodShare, volunteers went out to Jarvis, ON to harvest corn for foodbanks across the City. After three hours of harvesting, we picked 3,000+ of corn that headed straight to FoodShare for distribution.

Shout outs to Fatima at FoodShare, Art the farmer, Josh the helper and all our volunteers!

More picks throughout Hamilton and rural areas are in the works, to be added to the Fruit Tree Project's Volunteer List, email Juby at jlee(at)environmenthamilton(dot)org

Fruit Tree is partnering with FoodShare

This year, we have partnered with FoodShare to help glean fresh produce from farmers fields.
For example, Our Fathers Farm has planted and weeded tomatoes and onions that Fruit Tree volunteers are helping to harvest and all the produce harvested will go straight to foodbanks that welcome the fresh produce.
We are thrilled to connect with FoodShare and help in anyway that we can.

Many thanks to Small Change Fund and its donors!

We would like to extend our gratitude to Small Change Fund and its supporters, who have come through for the Fruit Tree Project in a big way. The final tally is in: donors have used the website to give Fruit Tree a total of $2161!

Our success story is up on the site, which means that Fruit Tree will now make way for other cultural and environmental grassroots organizations across the country to benefit from the small change of their supporters.

Check out the thank-you video from Fruit Tree coordinator Juby Lee:

Recipe: Sour Cherry Jam

It's sour cherry season for fruit tree owners!

Whether they're picked by you or by our Fruit Tree volunteers, here's how to make good use of the sour cherries from your tree.

Sour Cherry Jam

3 qt (3L) Ontario Sour Cherries
1 box (49g) light fruit pectin crystals
3 ¼ cups (800 mL) granulated sugar, divided
Grated orange rind or chopped ginger in syrup


Pit cherries and finely chop to make 5 cups (1.25 L); leave a few pitted cherries whole, if desired. Place cherries in large heavy metal saucepan. Combine pectin crystals with ¼ cup (50 mL) of the sugar; slowly add to prepared fruit. Cook and stir over high heat until mixture comes to full rolling boil. Stir in remaining sugar. Return to full rolling boil, stirring constantly; boil rapidly; stirring, for 1 min. Remove from heat. Stir and skim for 5 min. Addgrated orange rind or chopped ginger in syrup to taste. Pour into warm sterilized jars leaving ¼ in. (5 mm) headspace. Seal with 2 piece metal lids and process in boiling water bath using pectin manufacturer's directions.

Makes 6 cups (1.5 L)

Thanks to Foodland Ontario for the recipe.

We are back!

Fruit Tree Project is up and running for 2011!
We cannot wait to get out there and start harvesting and canning.
The picking starts in June and will last until November.
Stay tuned for updates and events.