A bounty of fruit, just ready for the picking. If the hands are available, the harvest is easy, but when there is a lack of time and help, food goes to waste - or worse, attracts wildlife to the wrong areas.
"There's no way we would use any sizeable proportion of this," said Cam Penner of the bumper crop of yellow plums on his family's tree.
The answer is a program developed in part by the Langley Advance five years ago. Known as Langley Advance Community Harvest, the program has a goal to bring over-abundant fruits and vegetables together with volunteers to deliver much needed fresh food to the Langley Food Bank.
Now coordinated with the Langley Environmental Partners Society (LEPS), organizers have a good number of volunteers and need more fruit tree owners to join the ranks.
"The last two years, the weather has not been ideal for fruit trees," said Stephanie Captein, who coordinates the harvest on behalf of LEPS. "But this year, things seem to be turning out fairly well."
In 2011, despite the less than perfect weather for fruit production, the program saw more than 1,000 pounds of fruit go to the food bank. With this year's more "fruit-friendly" weather, the crops are likely to be even more abundant.
Penner wants to know the plums from his tree are helping and not hindering.
Because the family is often away for a week right around the time the fruit starts to ripen, it can make for a smelly mess.
"It's a waste," he noted. "It's not something I like to see when there are warnings about bears in North Langley either."
Penner also noted that he's happy he's not the one up in the plum tree for hours at a time picking the fruit.
Many families like Penner's have fruit trees in their yards, the fruit of which is most likely to be too much for family and friends.
Through the program, the food is divided into thirds. One third to the tree owner, one third to the volunteers, and one third to the food bank.
If you have an excess of fruits or vegetables and would like to see that food be put to use, contact Captein at LEPS at 604-532-3515.
@ Copyright 2013