Become an OFRE member!

After heroic work by Amy and other OFRE Board members, we’ve sorted through all the code and complexity. Our new membership system is up and running, and OFRE picks will start very soon.

Please click on the link above to become an OFRE member. As part of the membership form you can indicate if you’d like to be contacted for picks, to take part in OFRE cider and canning workshops, etc.

Membership is a cheap way to support OFRE’s work, and connects you with the opportunity to be a picker, fruit captain, to vote at our AGM, etc. If you’re hard up please don’t let this be a barrier to joining us: there’s a link on the membership form for those who’d have difficulty coming up with the cash.

We’re excited to have this new membership model for OFRE roll out. Thanks for your patience. Please join now!

Gearing up for the 2013 pick season

The OFRE Board is excited about a new Orchard project, a new picker/grower database, a new membership system, and much more.

We’re especially eager to build our crew of volunteer fruit captains, pickers, and growers for the months ahead.

Please bear with us as we update the signup forms on this site to feed into our new database.

  • If you’ve already completed one of the ‘2012’ forms linked above, we have your data and will be in touch.
  • If you haven’t already signed up for this season, please watch this website for the new forms and use those.

Thanks for your patience and we look forward to connecting with you soon.

Please welcome OFRE’s new board members!

I really should have posted this sooner and apologize for not getting the word out, but let;s give a big welcome to OFRE’s first ever non-profit board of directors!!

  • Amy Beaith-Johnson, President
  • Jordan Wilson, Vice-President
  • Melisa Zapisocky, Secretary
  • Mike Johnson, Treasurer
  • David Kahane, Director at large
  • Sarah McPike, Director at large
  • Molly MacDougall, Director at large
  • Jan Hazen, Director at large
  • Amy Wilson, Director at large
  • Bonnie Patterson Payne, Director at large
  • Gillian Turney, Director at large
  • Kevin Kossowan, Director at large

Congratulations to all the newly elected members! They are great group with a variety of skill and experience!

  • Date of next board meeting: June 6th @ 7pm.
  • Who can attend? All meetings are open to the public.
  • Where is it? Address: is Kasian Architecture, Interior Design & Planning, 2nd floor boardroom. 251 – Commerce Place, 10150 Jasper Ave., Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, T5J 1W4
  • Past minutes: May 09, 2013

OFRE presenting at Beer & Berkshire, May 26th, Yellowhead Brewery

SLow Food Edmonton is putting on a fundraiser dinner tonight called Berkshire & Beer for the Slow Food International Project called: Thousands Gardens in Africa. It’s an amazing and inspiring project envisioned by Slow Food Africa out of the Africans for Africa movement. Be sure to check out the websites for more information. I could write a whole book about how awesome this initiative is!

Screen Shot 2013-05-26 at 2.36.46 PMPart of the evening will include short petcha kucha style talks/presentations by a handful of interesting folks doing interesting things in and around Edmonton. Mike Johnson will be talking shop on OFRE and what we will be up to this season with our community fruit orchard and I will be giving a talk on Terra Madre: What it meant to go, why you should go if you can, and what I’ve gained from the experience.

Hope to see you there! It promises to be an interesting night filled with delicious food, beer and people. Need I say more? Oh yes, check out the menu of what delicious foods you will  be eating tonight if you can make it! Many local producers are on the list! Bacon Whisky ice cream interest anyone?!

 

 

Servus Credit Union Ripple Fund – Vote for OFRE!

OFRE recent’y qualified for a community driven grant/funding program called the Ripple fund from Servus Credit Union. It’s a facebook contest that is designed to help organizations creating a ripple in their cities or communities get a bit of funding to help them continue to create ripples and lasting community change.

OFRE volunteers have been working hard behind the scenes to plan an exciting year and have a few fun projects in mind such as a Community Orchard right here in Edmonton! To read more about us and our grant application, please go to the website and vote for us! Every vote counts and thanks for your support!

Operation Fruit Rescue Edmonton (OFRE)

Thanks so much for mentioning us. We strive to make an impact on local food waste and educating people about the unique biodiversity right in their backyards.

Video: UK activists look to use wasted food

I came across this great little video through the Aljazeera network about UK activists involved in food gleaning projects, who are hoping to draw attention to the amount of food that goes to waste as well as to show ways people can make a positive impact on local food access.

IMG_3499 IMG_3501 IMG_3502OFRE volunteers glean fruit from urban trees and share the bounty with many groups to help build community through food. It’s part of our mandate to get locally grown fruits into the hands, mouths, and minds of Edmontonians. A somewhat newer initiative of OFRE is to do farm gleans to rescue the end of harvest vegetables. It all started a couple years ago when we got a call from a farm in Pigeon Lake area asking us if we rescue vegetables. The thought hadn’t really crossed our minds before, and that’s probably because we are quite overwhelmed with just trying to keep up with the fruit requests! Our first farm glean at Gone Green Acres Farm in 2011 was a great success, and the interest has grown from there. Last fall OFRE volunteers went to a local farm Riverbend Gardens, which you may have heard of before in regards to the Horsehill ASP and Friends of Farmers initiative. They are working hard to keep their farm as farmland. They care deeply about growing local food and want to be able to continue doing that in the future but are facing many challenges from city council, apathy, and developers who are wanting to ever expand the suburbs.  At Riverbend Gardens, OFRE volunteers rescued approx. 7-10 tonnes of vegetables! Can you imagine?! 5 tonnes were donated to the Salvation Army in Edmonton who run hot meal programs for people living in the inner city and dish out over 400 meals a day! They were very excited about the fresh vegetables to cook up for fall meals making hearty soups, stews, and casseroles. Yum! The rest of the vegetables were divided up among the volunteers who came out for the day and Riverbend Gardens. I think it’s so powerful to see local farms reach out to organizations such as ours to help them get the rest of the harvest out of their fields and share the bounty of locally grown food with a wide network of people who can benefit from it. It’s such a great initiative and I look forward to seeing it expand in the future!

Here is the video called: UK activists look to use wasted food.

OFRE Orchard & Cider Shack Design Charrette, March 16, 2013

OFRE volunteers have been working hard behind the scenes to plan some exciting projects for the 2013 season. Projects that involve you, our community!

DETAILS – the what, where & when:
OFRE is pleased to announce an open design charrette to help in the design of community orchard and cider shack on an inner city site.  The charrette will take place on Saturday March 16th 11-4pm at Kasian Architecture Interior Design and Planning Ltd. office located in Commerce Place on Jasper ave and 102ndstreet. (accessible by bus, lrt, parking on street available, but limited).
IMG_1567Why an orchard?
OFRE is working to build a community orchard and cider shack to help us reach our goals of providing education workshops and outreach to
Edmontonians.  We will be able to provide OFRE with a home and continue to build on the strength of partner
ships.  This bountiful partnership with the city will be fruitful for years to come!
The goal of the charrette is to provide design options and generate ideas for the construction of a permaculture based designed orchard with a small on site cider shack for the storage of tools and cider making equipment.

Who can participate? If you are passionate about design, have knowledge of permaculture principles or building technology, we want YOU to be a part of our design charrette!

Please RSVP to: Mike Johnson, email: Jmjohnson79@hotmail.com, ph:780-318-4628

Edmonton Permaculture monthly speaker series – Eating Local, Monday, Mar 4, 6pm

So, are you free this monday evening and want to hear about local food resources and initiatives going on in the city? If so, come to the Riverdale Rink House for their monthly speaker series. Potluck starts at 6, talk starts at 7pm!

———————
IMG_1432 “Eating Local – A panel presentation of how to reduce your carbon footprint by eating local”.

There is lots of talk about eating local these days. The big question is HOW?? When so many of the food stores deliver from all parts of the world, and we have snow covering our growing for so long, how does one access local food year round in Edmonton?

This month we will hear from a number of people actively involved in the local food scene. Each one will do a short presentation on their area of expertise, and help us to understand how we can eat more local food throughout the year.

  • Anita Gregoire has run an Urban CSA for 5 years, focusing on growing gardeners and reclaiming lost agricultural land. She will talk about what brought us to our current food system, and how Community Supported Agriculture can help.
  • Tam Anderson has been in operating Prairie Gardens and Adventure Farm for nearly 30 years, offering u-pick strawberries, peas, potatoes. She grows 10 acres of pumpkins, a CSA garden, a corn maze and hosts on farm food festivals. Proud recipient of the Direct Farm Marketer of the year awards, she will discuss U-pick and market gardens
  • Amy Beaith will talk about accessing local fruit through OFRE and the importance of preserving the fruits of your labour. She will briefly talk about her involvement with culinary education and “Shovel and Fork”.
  • John Schneider is a fourth generation Canadian Farmer of 400 acres of certified organic grains, and heritage or heirloom varieties of vegetables, livestock and grains that represent a safeguard against possible collapse of conventional agriculture. His family runs Gold Forest Grains and markets their stone-milled grains directly to consumers via farmers markets and retail stores in Edmonton. John will talk about his journey, including farmer’s markets and eating seasonally.
  • Chantelle Leidle is a consumer. Although she is not a specialist in any of the above areas, she has managed to eat local for the whole year. Through her small backyard garden and connections with other groups, her family has vastly increased their local food consumption. She will share thoughts from her journey towards personal sustainability for her family.

IMG_1362Where & When?

Riverdale Rink House, 100 Ave and 92 Street
Potluck at 6 (please bring dish and your own cutlery and dishes), speakers start at 7. You are welcome to attend all or part. Admission by donation.
Follow the event on Facebook under Edmonton Permaculture Group. Contact Anita Gregoire www.onborrowedground.com for more details.