Heat wave forces earlier harvest

LifeCycles needs volunteer pickers to keep up with demand

Brian MacDonald picks transparent apples from a privately owned tree that partly hangs over Francisco Park in Gordon Head.

Brian MacDonald picks transparent apples from a privately owned tree that partly hangs over Francisco Park in Gordon Head.

The dry summer weather has led to an early start on fruit harvests, and the need for volunteers is as great as always for the LifeCycles Fruit Tree Project.

LifeCycles anticipates a 40,000-pound fruit harvest in the Greater Victoria region over the next two months.

“We always need more volunteers as we have the potential to harvest even more fruit,” said Fruit Tree Project co-ordinator Jenny McCartney. “This year’s expected harvest is up from 32,000 pounds last year.”

The Fruit Tree Project allocates 25 per cent of the harvest to the tree owner, 25 per cent to the volunteers, and shares the rest with community associations, food banks and others. The annual harvest is four months long and collects fruit from privately owned trees that would otherwise go to waste.

A lot of the problem is all the fruit is ripening at the same time, McCartney explained. In particular, LifeCycles has noted a need to get the message out about watering apple trees.

“Without water, trees will protect themselves by dropping the fruit before it’s ripe, and earlier than normal. People here aren’t used to having to water fruit trees. Last year was the first year we realized a need to water trees in Greater Victoria.”

The apparent climate change is showing its effect as 2015 is the earliest harvest in nine years of the Fruit Tree Project.

“We track our harvesting with data and can see the trend is earlier and earlier every year,” said McCartney. “This year, for example, is three weeks earlier than last year and about four to five weeks earlier than four years ago.”

As California is in its fourth year of a significant draught, LifeCycles said the residual effect is a 25 to 50 per cent spike in B.C. produce prices over the next five years.

“LifeCycles has contributed so much,” says Sheila Avery, co-ordinator of food security at Saanich Neighbourhood Place. “They have connected community members to contribute vegetables and fruits to our many families.”

To volunteer or register a fruit tree to LifeCycles visit lifecyclesproject.ca.





Just Posted

Greater father involvement in the home leads to improved childhood development and increased marital satisfaction, says expert. (Black Press Media file photo)
University of Victoria researcher finds lack of father involvement a drag on gender equality

Working women still taking on most child and household duties in Canada

New COVID-19 cases on Vancouver Island by local health area for the week of June 6-12. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control image)
New COVID-19 cases up on Island, but health officials say trends going right way

There were 22 new COVID-19 cases in Greater Victoria last week after just four the week before

Emergency health services treated a person after they were blocking traffic at the intersection of Fort and Douglas Streets on June 17. (Evert Lindquist/ News Staff)
Victoria intersection traffic returns to normal after protester blocked roadway

A person in a motorized wheelchair was blocking the intersection at Fort and Douglas Streets

Eric White’s roadside farm stand in Metchosin sits stocked with produce. (Photo courtesy of Eric White)
Fledgling Metchosin farmer frustrated by thefts from stand

Eric White said every dollar made at the roadside helps sustain his farm

Saanich police took a suspect into custody after a store employee on Cedar Hill Cross Road was assaulted Wednesday afternoon. (Black Press Media file photo)
Employee assaulted at Saanich store after asking suspected shoplifters to leave

June 16 incident saw worker taken to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

(Black Press Media file photo)
POLL: When was the last time you visited the mainland?

The films are again lighting the screens at local theatres, the wine… Continue reading

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of June 15

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Helen Austin performing with Trent Freeman at the 2018 Vancouver Island MusicFest. Austin is one of the many performers listed for the 2021 event.
Vancouver Island MusicFest goes virtual for 2021

Black Press to stream 25 hours of programming July 9-11

FILE – A science class at L.A. Matheson Secondary in Surrey, B.C. on March 12, 2021. (Lauren Collins/Surrey Now Leader)
Teachers’ union wants more COVID transmission data as B.C. prepares for back-to-school

BCTF says that details will be important as province works on plan for September

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry outlines B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan, May 25, 2021, including larger gatherings and a possible easing of mandatory masks on July 1. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. records 120 new COVID-19 cases, second vaccines accelerating

Lower Pfizer deliveries for early July, Moderna shipments up

A Heffley Creek peacock caught not one - but two - lifts on a logging truck this month. (Photo submitted)
Heffley Creek-area peacock hops logging trucks in search of love

Peacock hitched two lifts in the past month

The Calgary skyline is seen on Friday, Sept. 15, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
2 deaths from COVID-19 Delta variant in Alberta, 1 patient was fully immunized

Kerry Williamson with Alberta Health Services says the patients likely acquired the virus in the hospital

The first suspension bridge is the tallest in Canada, with a second suspension bridge just below it. The two are connected by a trail that’s just over 1 km. (Claire Palmer photo)
PHOTOS: The highest suspension bridges in Canada just opened in B.C.

The Skybridge in Golden allows visitors to take in views standing at 130 and 80 metres

Most Read