As anyone who has them knows, fruit trees often produce more fruit than one family could ever use in a given year. If you have more fruit than you can use – and to help avoid property damage associated with fruit trees – there are resources available.
Fruit trees can be a major cause of human-bear human conflict in our area. Most fruit trees are located in or next to people’s yards. Bears have great memories and easily remember locations of easy food sources. Fruit trees can be open invitations for bears to linger near people and their homes. Electric fencing has proven extremely effective in keeping bears out of most anything – including fruit trees.
In partnership with Healthy Community Food Systems, FLC Environmental Center and Colorado State University (CSU) Extension, Bear Smart Durango has established a Fruit Gleaning Hub, an online Bulletin Board that connects residents desiring fruit with those having fruit available for harvesting. Let’s work together to feed community members instead of the local bear population! Read a summary of this Program.
“Thank you for the fruit gleaning program! I was able to contact two out of the three people listed and my family and I collected bags of pears and apples last week, hopefully helping the trees and property owners to keep damage down to a minimum, keeping bears from harm and helping us too. Thanks again.” – Durango resident, 2015
A 2010 study by University of Montana wildlife biology graduate student Jerod Merkle found that on any given day a home along the northern fringe of Missoula, Montana had a 60 percent chance of being visited by a bear. Trash collection days and when apples were available greatly increased the odds.
In addition to the Fruit Gleaning Program, there are other resources in town that are happy receiving donations of fruit:
- Turtle Lake Refuge | www.turtlelakerefuge.org
- Manna Soup Kitchen | mannasoupkitchen.org
- Apple Days | www.growingpartners.org
- Project Produce Bounty | www.csuextension office
- FLC Environmental Center | www.fortlewisenvironmentalcenter
NOTE: “Vendors are listed as a service to clientele. Parties involved do not guarantee nor warrant the standard of any vendor’s product, nor does it imply approval of the product to the exclusion of others which also may be available, nor does it intend discrimination or criticism of products or providers that are mentioned or not mentioned. In addition, we assume no liability for harvesting or use of vendors’ product.”
Special thanks to Duffy Brook for help with the Fruit Gleaning web pages! Thank you, Duffy.