As we close in on our first year of fruit rescue in our neighbourhood, we are celebrating another step in our growth. We started selling our preserves in our community league hall and to friends and family who tasted and liked our products. Then this July we started selling at the Callingwood Farmer's Market on Wednesdays and Sundays.
This has been a great opportunity to see what people like and to watch their reactions as they read our sign about "rescued fruit". We get laughs, questions and looks of distrust. It is to these people that offer that we don't pick things up off the ground or out of the garbage. That often gets a nod but they continue to move on quickly. It is such an interesting way to sort out those who understand that food comes from the earth and those who just want things in plastic and cellophane.
The attached photo is of two of our volunteers who sell at the Wednesday markets setting up with the assistance of my granddaughter.
We have been watching the Eat Local initiative here in Edmonton and the Good Food Box program that specializes in promoting local producers and local products. We looked at our jams made with rhubarb picked within walking distance of our kitchen and raspberries that hang into our back lanes, also being rescued by us and agreed that this is about as 'eat local' as one can get.
We have good jams and preserves and with our courage rustled up, we approached the Good Food Box to see if they would be interested in our product. Our contact, Heidi was very encouraging and sent us off with some challenges to sort out and ideas for moving forward. As we were sorting things out, we also approached Earth's General Store here in Edmonton to see if Michael would carry our preserves and he gave us our first order.
Finally after getting labels and other issues sorted out, we were ready to make our first delivery to the Good Food Box and to Earth's General Store with 5 of our more popular products. And today was the day! We labelled, packaged and delivered our first orders today. Lorraine - a friend and neighbour took photos of each jar with it's lovely new label as I surrounded each jar with the fruits that we preserved inside. Here is a sample of our work that will be in the listings of the Good Food Box.
So as the title says - we have made another step in our program of using what grows naturally here in our community - using it to feed people and to show that we do have local resources. It is all done by homeowners sharing their bounty, some volunteers picking, some doing the preserving, and others doing design, printing and photographing. It does take a community and together we are starting to show just what can be done.
It is a day of celebration!