Tag Archives: edmonton

OFRE AGM is coming up! Join us on April 16, 2016

Annual General Meeting and Potluck!

Sign up to become a member today, and become a part of OFRE.
We hope that you will join us as we continue our adventure in 2016.
Join us at our AGM, and bring a dish to share:       

April 16th, 2016 

4:00pm – 7:00pm

McCauley School, 9538 107 Ave Edmonton

What does 2016 hold for OFRE?

As we come out of hibernation we are gearing up for 2016 and have some
amazing ideas for events that will build on our momentum from last
year and we need your help to make it happen! 

To make our organization resilient to and sustainable over the long term we are
seeking volunteers to help our board members implement their ideas.
We are also seeking additional board members to guide the organization
into the future.  Come join us at our AGM and find the hidden fruit in our city!

Guest post from our Vice President: Joshua Buck

Hello Readers,

As you may be aware Operation Fruit Rescue Edmonton will be holding their AGM on March 29 at 1pm at the former McCauley School on 107a Ave. We are looking for several new board members. As the current Vice President of Operation Fruit Rescue Edmonton I would like to take a moment to share with you reasons why joining our board may just be the perfect thing for you to do!

Let me start by saying that as a young professional who has only been living in Edmonton for two years, joining the OFRE board was a great way for me to meet people who wanted to have fun but at the same time make our home a better place to live. I have met some truly amazing people throughout the year at various events that OFRE has attended and held. Edmonton has a vibrant community of enthusiastic people who are working hard to bring food security and self-resilience to the forefront of local conversations!

OFRE attends and holds a number of events each year, such as cider pressings, workshops at the Edmonton Resilience Festival, demonstrations at the Fruit Growers Festival at the beautiful Devonian Botanical Gardens, and farm gleans collecting lots of tasty and fresh fruits and veggies. All of these events are a great way to spend an afternoon, get some fresh air and enjoy the company of friendly people.

Aside from meeting people and having fun, joining the board of Operation Fruit Rescue Edmonton will give you a chance to hone your skills as an event planner, communicator, organizer, community planner, and more! Plus you will get to learn about tree and shrub maintenance and how to make the most of your green thumb in our Northern climate.

For me joining the Board of Directors with OFRE started as a way to meet people and give back, now it has grown into being a part of a community! Oh, and I have so much apple cider to drink year round, what a tasty bonus!

An introduction to cider making!

 IMG_1432As fall quickly approaches, heralded in by an early September snow fall, you may notice that the apple trees around the city are heavy with fruit. If you are familiar with OFRE’s mission and take part in it, you know there is more fruit available than you could possibly use. Even walking my dog around my neighbourhood in North Glenora I have seen at least a dozen trees still full.

While big juicy apples are perfect for eating or baking, many of the apples trees around Edmonton are crab apple trees. Crab apples are too sour to eat and too small to make pies with, but they are perfect for one thing, and that’s cider! Crisp tart cider, tossed it in the crock pot with some spices and you have one of my favourite winter drinks, mulled cider

If you ever thought making cider was hard, you’re wrong; it’s simple, fun and inexpensive.

IMG_0696 IMG_0601

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • a mix of different varieties of apples
  • an apple crusher
  • a press

The key to a good cider is the choice of apples. While any apple can make a good cider, a good mix of a variety is key. I prefer ciders heavy on the crap apples because I like a tart cider. I’ve made a cider with only sweeter apples and I found it flat and too sweet for my palate. Try making your own blends until you find what tastes best to you.

Next you’ll need a lot of apples, for every 15-20 kg of apples you can expect 10L of cider. If you consider that an average tree can have well over 100 kg, that’s not a lot of work.

To transform your apples into a delicious cider you’ll need an apple crusher and a press. You can either rent this equipment or make it yourself. There are several blogs that provide instructions on creating different DIY models. I prefer renting the equipment as I find you get more juice (and it’s a whole lot easier). While I’m sure there may be other places you can pick up the equipment, I usually head over Estate Brewing (http://www.estatebrewing.ca/Home.page) where owner Kevin Hogg has a few sets of crushers and barrel presses and will be happy to show you the ins and outs.

The actual crushing and pressing is pretty easy. The Cider Workshop (http://www.ciderworkshop.com/howtomake.html) is an excellent resource and can give you advice on how to press cider. Likewise there are numerous other blogs which give good advice.

Once you’re done pressing and before you call it a day, you will need to get rid of the pressed apples (called pumice) and store your cider. The pumice can be left out in clear garbage bags and it will be composted at the Edmonton Waste Management Facility. As for the cider, it will last a week in the fridge before it starts to ferment. If you want it keep it longer, you can simply freeze it or preserve it through canning. (http://extension.oregonstate.edu/lane/sites/default/files/images/sp50455.pdf)

Cider pressing is easy and it gives you a healthy, locally sourced drink that you can enjoy throughout the winter.

Press Release – The Golden Shovel!

OFRE’s 5th year celebration – From modest beginnings to a strong future:  Micro-Orchard takes root in McCauley

Your cordially invited to the official planting of the Operation Fruit Rescue Edmonton micro-orchard, September 13th, 2014, at the McCauley School grounds, 95th Street & 107A Avenue.

As part of the days festivities, Edmonton City Councillor, Scott McKeen, Megan Rogers from Forestry operations, Jane Molstad from community revitalization, and Mike Johnson, OFRE President will make announcements and take part in the golden shovel ceremony. The event will start at 9am with the planting of the first tree at 10am.

Other attending organizations include: Edmonton Bicycle Commuters (EBC), and Edmonton Permaculture Guild. There will be live music, it’s open to the public and people of all ages are welcome to attend. OFRE volunteers will be pressing cider with the pedal powered apple crusher, which is always fun to see in action!

This orchard is unique to Edmonton, the region, and Canada as it’s one of the first ever urban orchards on public land. It will be a place for Operation Fruit Rescue Edmonton to teach, learn and grow. For Edmontonians, it will be a place, to develop a passion for local food, to harness long lost food preservation skills, and to contribute to a stronger, more food secure city.

The micro-Orchard will include plantings to showcase the types and varieties of fruit trees, shrubs, and bushes grown in the Edmonton Capital region. Fruit varieties to be planted include: apples, pears, cherries, saskatoons, raspberries, and more! 

No experience necessary, just bring your enthusiasm and a shovel. The event is open to the public and is FREE to attend!

Pick of the week – OFRE’s micro orchard!

Operation Fruit Rescue Edmonton (OFRE – pronounced “offer’) is celebrating its 5th year as an organization. From its humble beginnings in 2009, OFRE has become a widely respected organization within the city and throughout Canada. In celebration of 5 years of rescuing fruit OFRE is creating a micro Orchard in Edmonton!

2014-07-04-Orchard Rendering with text (1)

(Click here for full size image)

With grant funding from the City of Edmonton, OFRE’s proposal for transforming a section of the McCauley School grounds is reaching fruition. Since 2012, OFRE has been planning and organizing this ground-breaking project in Edmonton. The area specifically located on 107A Avenue between 95th and 96th Street is to be transformed into a micro Orchard – a fruit bearing oasis!

The micro Orchard will include plantings to showcase the types and varieties of fruit trees, shrubs, and bushes that can grow in the Edmonton Capital region. Fruit varieties to be planted include: apples, pears, cherries, Saskatoons, raspberries and more!

As a green addition to McCauley, the micro Orchard will be used by OFRE to host educational workshops. People will be able to learn how to press apple cider, and care for their fruit bearing trees and bushes. We intend to educating the citizens of Edmonton, through the installation of the micro Orchard, and will empower people with the skills needed to grow, harvest, and preserve locally grown fruit in their own backyards.

OFRE’s micro Orchard is scheduled to break ground September 6th, 2014, with the help of Edmonton Permaculture Guild. It will take several weeks to complete with countless volunteer hours.

WHEN? September 6th & 7th

  • Ground breaking,
  • Dig pathways and level
  • Removal of sod
  • Install mulch pathways

              September 13th

  • Plant trees & shrubs
  • Install ground cover
  • Build shed
  • Install 1000 litre totes on site
  • Press and make cider (go on an OFRE pick and bring your own apples!)

Please sign up (see links below) to be a part of this amazing event. Involvement is greatly encouraged, and will be immensely appreciated!

The 5th year anniversary of Operation Fruit Rescue Edmonton is a wonderful time to find the fruit hidden in our city!