Each fall for the past 6 years that we have lived in our current house, September has ushered in a feast of Italian Plums from our lone backyard tree. I have no idea how old it is, but it is mature and has produced ample fruit for Mrs. LIAYF and I to eat whole, cook with, and give away to family and friends. Unfortunately, that has still accounted for only a fraction of the fruit this tree bears and thus each year way too much fruit has gone to waste. Something needed to be done.
Then, earlier this year we heard about a local program called Community Harvest. The goal of Community Harvest and their volunteers is to pick fruit trees, such as our Italian Plum, and to make that harvested fruit available to local food bank patrons. We loved the idea and signed our tree up for the program.
When the volunteers came to do the picking, I had just arrived home from work and Mrs. LIAYF pulled up with Lukas moments later. "How many volunteers are there?" she asked. "Just two, but they look young and spry" I replied. (they did) "Yeah, you don't sound old at all" she laughed before explaining to Lukas, who had been eating plenty plums off the tree, what was going on. He initially got pretty upset at the prospect of sharing his plums. Tears were shed.
However, Mrs. LIAYF explained to him that we would be sharing these with families who need them, and asked him if he wanted to help with the harvest. He was excited to help out, even requesting I lift him up high to get the hidden fruit.
When finished, over 200 lbs of fruit was harvested for our local food bank. Eight boxes full, not counting the half box we kept for ourselves. It proved a bountiful harvest, and a great opportunity to teach our son a valuable lesson in sharing.
Especially when you have more than you can consume.