Salem Harvest

Guest post by Pam Choc

Limbs from the cherry tree droop, laden with abundant fruit. Children giggle as they run between trees, trying to find just the right cherry to sneak into their mouths. The “plink, plink, plink” of cherries landing in large buckets. Families easily chatting amongst themselves and with each other, all grateful for the chance to take home some plump, red cherries. Just when it seems that it can’t get much better than this, it does.

Not only do we eagerly anticipate the flavor of the ripe, juicy cherries when we get home, but we are also donating half of our harvest so others can enjoy the bounty as well. This is volunteerism at its best!

Salem Harvest is a local non-profit organization that brings together farmers and volunteers to benefit those who may not normally be able to enjoy the abundance of the fertile Willamette Valley. Here’s how it works: Farmers and backyard gardeners contact Salem Harvest when they have ripe crops that will not be harvested and would otherwise go to waste. Salem Harvest then sends out an email to registered volunteers with information regarding the harvest (how many volunteers they need, if children can attend, etc.). Volunteers then sign up online to attend that particular harvest. Last year, Salem Harvest donated over 165,000 pounds of fresh produce to the Marion-Polk Food Share!

We ended Sunday evening with our bellies and our hearts full. My family will definitely be participating in a harvest again ( the kids are hope for fruits rather than veggies!). The level of professionalism and contagious enthusiasm from Salem Harvest was impressive.

For more information, visit the Salem Harvest website.

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