The Apples Are Coming

The Apples are Coming!  Does this sound like a grade B movie?  With the abundance of apples in the city and the struggle of know what to do with them all, it feels like a pretty scary event to all of us at Fruits of Sherbrooke.  We have been making jams and jellies and even some popular sauces with local apples, but we are always overwhelmed with the bounty that is available.

In 2013 we diverted over 8,000 kg of apples to charities, food banks and community kitchens and resources in the month of September and then we just lost count!!   This year we have increased our list of charities, not for profit groups, community projects and even some small businesses that will take all the apples we can direct to them.  We know this will only address a portion of the apples but it is a definite improvement over the past when they ended up in the garbage.

A loaded apple tree
A loaded apple tree

If you can pick them, give us a call and we will direct you where they can go.  Some operations will come and pick them up, while some of the charities and food banks ask that you deliver them directly to them.  This works as you will see who will be using them and have the satisfaction of knowing they will be used for food.  We do ask that you call us first as we operate a clearing house operation to make sure that none of the recipients become overwhelmed and that others do not get forgotten.  We appreciate your efforts in helping us in this initiative.

If you are unable to pick the apples, contact Operation Fruit Rescue and register your tree.  If they have enough volunteers they will come and pick it for you.  If this does not work and you are willing to let others in your yard, we might be able to connect with new Canadians who are willing to pick for themselves.

To assist individuals in knowing what to do with them, we are offering a series of classes on Apples and ideas of how to preserve them for winter use.   In addition, OFRE (Operation Fruit Rescue Edmonton) will also have a series of events where they will bring their apple press and demonstrate the making of apple cider.  Watch their website for details.

For information on our Apples!  Apples!  Apples! Classes click here for details.

Triple Dividend - New Concept for Team Building \ Work Group Experiences

As you and your company plans for team and group events for the next year, would you consider doing something that pays a Triple Dividend?   Let me explain. We offer 1 day workshops for volunteer groups where you will work with us for the day.  Class description is here.   There is a fee for the day but the payoff happens for the Self,  the Environment, and Others.

  • Self:  Each person attending will learn about the abundant urban fruit that grows in the city and is not being used.  During the months of July - October, participants will assist in picking the fruit, learning how to prepare it for immediate use or save to be used later, and finally in making a jam and/or jelly.  They will learn how to blend spices and herbs to create a unique flavour combination and finally prepare product to take home with them.   It is truly a hands-on experience.
  • Environment:  By learning about the amount of fruit that grows in the city, participants will become more aware and learn options for its use rather than garbage.  Fruits of Sherbrooke practices include composting, recycling, reuse, and diversion of excess edible fruits to other charities and non-profits around the city.  Some of the fees will enable Fruits of Sherbrooke to continue to create it's programs of creating a directory, collecting and re-directing excess urban fruit that grows in this city.  In this manner, more food gets to people who are willing to use it, waste is reduced and fruit from the ground goes to animal farms.  We are also looking for new and creative options for using the over-abundance of apples and crab apples in the city.
  • Others:  A portion of the fees for the course will be applied directly to the Cherry Stone Soup Program.  Through this program the Fruits of Sherbrooke will be offering free workshops to low income groups as identified by Alberta Health (such as community kitchens), new immigrants as identified by Catholic Social Services and the Mennonite Centre for Refugees and other community resources.  This program is already being trialed.  The funds are needed to provide the participants with jars and supplies and the dream is to have enough funds to supply participants with equipment such as canning supplies or a dehydrator.  Eventually we would like to have the funds to set up a system that would connect those with excess with those who are willing to pick and use.  So the fees from the course will help Fruits of Sherbrooke to run and administer their programs that connect excess fruit to those who will use it.

Please read the course description and call us to find out how we can work together.  We are able to customize a day if you want to made a product for your office, for a fund-raiser or other purposes.   We are open to considering all queries.

Phone - 780-244-0129     Email  Fruits of Sherbrooke

Lemon Apple Chicken Recipe

This week we are featuring our Lemon Apple Jam which has the warm flavours of our locally rescued apples paired with fresh lemons.  To help you to "think beyond the bread box" we are offering you a couple of recipes - a muffin and a main course. We are selling at the Downtown Farmer's Market in city hall every Saturday from 10 am to 3 pm.  We can now be found at the Castledowns Farmer's Market which is on Wednesday afternoons from 4 to 8 pm.  Drop by if you are in the area and see what we are sampling that day.  For the first 2 weeks in January you will find the Lemon Apple Jam and as usual there will be a couple other items to taste.  We have over 100 different items as we do not bring them with us each week, thus you will find something different every time you drop by.  IF you have a specific request, please call or e-mail and we will try to have your request ready at the market of your choice for you.

Our business phone number is 780-244-0129  and you can contact us at

Submitted by Carol 

Lemon Apple Chicken               Serves 4

Boneless chicken (or other meat or tofu)                                         500 g Fruits of Sherbrooke Lemon Apple Jam              125 ml Lemon juice                                                         2 Tablespoons Sherry or cooking wine                                        2 Tablespoons Cornstarch                                                          1 Tablespoon Minced garlic                                                       2 teaspoons Chili paste or flakes                                             to taste Water or wine of choice                                      ½ cup Cooking oil                                                          2 Tablespoons

Serve with rice or noodles and fresh vegetables.

1.  Cut chicken into 1 inch cubes and combine with all remaining ingredients - except the oil – in a bowl.  Toss well, cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

2.  In last 10 minutes before dinner, heat a wok or frying pan with the 2 T. oil.  When the oil is quite hot, add all the contents from the bowl –both the meat and marinade.

3.  Stir over medium high heat until the meat is cooked, adding up to ½ cup water as needed to create a sauce.

4.  Taste and add salt, pepper and more chili as needed.



A Good Teacher Deserves an Apple, a Great Teacher Deserves Apple Jam

It's that time of year again.  School is coming to a close as are extra curricular activities.  All those teachers, coaches, instructors and mentors are gone for the summer and what to get them to show our appreciation? There are many popular items but really, do things like gift cards and apple frames stand out and leave an impression?  We at Fruits of Sherbrooke like to think that our preserves are the perfect gift!  Appealing to any gender, age and genre - in fact appealing to those who like food. Well, that leaves the gift receiver option way open.  Jam is something that most people possess but perhaps don't go out of their way to treat themselves to.  Our jams, made with rescued fruit, offer a double appeal; local and delicious  Fruits of Sherbrooke provides something a little different that doesn't break the bank. It gives a little gift that bundles the thought of thank you and good bye together.  Naturally we have a number of apple products including ginger apple jam, maple apple jam and lemon apple jam. We'd like you to consider thinking outside that bread box and get adventurous with something like rosemary rhubarb jelly; very tasty added to roasted potatos, chicken or fish.