Tag Archives: Operation Fruit Rescue Edmonton

OFRE Event Calendar 2016

OFRE EVENT CALENDAR

Join us at the Orchard!  Located behind McCauley School at 9538 107 AvenueOFRE is hosting or participating in the following events and want to see you all there!  We could always use help from like minded individuals and organizations.  If you are interested please send us an e-mail to with the subject line : Volunteer on committees  info@operationfruitrescue.org.

Thanks for your support and we hope to see you there!

 

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!

OFRE President’s Message 2015

My wife talks a lot about the journey of life, enjoying the path, and focusing less on the destination.  The path can lead to something new and unexpected if you don’t purely focus on the destination, it can enrich the destination with experiences along the way.  This is something I have been struggling to learn over the years, because without a destination or goal, then there is no logic to a path and you can wandering aimlessly.  I do however believe that the joy of cooking is about the process not just the end product, even though the end goal is usually a great meal.  Discovering the flavours, textures, and their combinations  through experimentation create experiences that enrich the soul, while if we all just follow a recipe we can miss the extraordinary.  A meal I think is always better if there is a story attached.  With the explosion of Edmonton restaurants offering ‘farm to table’ dinners, it’s getting easier to know where ingredients come from and that local doesn’t just taste better because of the freshness, but because of the story.  It allows people to have an experience beyond taste and connect directly with the food.

A question I ask a lot of people now is: do you know where your food comes from?  For the past 5 years I have learned more about where my food has come from and the problems with the industrial agricultural system.  One of the things I have learned is that Apples are the top of the dirty dozen list, which means that there is more pesticides sprayed on apples than any other food.  This makes it even more important that if you are going to be buying organic, the first one that should be purchased is apples.  However, having saying that, why should you have to purchase apples where there is such an abundance right here in the city.  Some of the best tasting apples grown right here.  It may not be a Fuji, a Pink Lady, or a Gala, but have you ever had a Goodland?  I have been picking apples in Edmonton for 5 years and each year I am impressed with the quality…. but I may be biased because picking fruit gives me a different appreciation of the fruit.  I savor the tart apples, the dolgo crab, and cherish the eating apples.  This is not about going on a trip to the grocery store, this is about the adventure and the journey of picking the fruit right off the tree!  I think it tastes better.

It turns out that tart apples and crab apples are essential to making the perfect cider blend. Four years ago I created what I believe was the perfect cider blend.  A combination of sweet, to tart apples.  It was complex with distinct notes, and not muddled with too many varieties.  I may never be able to recreate that exact flavour combination, but each year I try, but am not worried if I ever recreate it, because it’s not all about the taste, it’s the process that I take each year to create the cider. Every year it tastes unique and is memorable to me as that year’s blend.

Through OFRE, I have found amazing friends, and learned the power of giving, and that sometimes the journey is better than the destination.  This year I hope that you will all slow down and enjoy the fruits of your labour this year.  Come and join OFRE, come for the journey, stay for the cider.

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!

Stocking Up – a fall festival of food

Stocking up – A fall festival of food

Fall is always a special time of year for me.  Going back to when I was a small child and helping Mom, Dad, Gramma & Great-Gramma clean the garden and start preparing for winter, it was… precious. Time with loved ones. Gorgeous colours for the transition in nature.  Amazing food.

This year was a special one for me and my family. I took a full week off to pick and preserve fruit for the winter.  It worked really well. My wife and I just had our first child this spring, so it was a lot more challenging than picking & preserving in years past and it was also a lot more fulfilling.  But I’ll get to that later.

We got really lucky with the picks we signed up for. The first was a small acreage north of Edmonton, which listed needing 1 tree picked.  We got out there to find 3 eating apples. 2 crabs, and an Evans cherry all dripping with fruit. After speaking with the owner, we agreed to pick for two days, and pick as much as we could. The second day I’d already signed up for another apple pick, so that evening we got another full tree of eating apples and a handful of crabs.  All in all, there was nearly 500 lbs of apples & crabs, and almost 50 lbs of cherries.

One of the challenges I have with picking is deciding where to donate.  This year it was easy – the day after the pick we had an appointment near Whyte ave, so YESS got a nice surprise and a lot of fruit. It was neat because the chefs had just arrived and once I started bringing the food in, they immediately started planning what they would do with it. Very fun experience.

We had planned to juice a lot of the apples. I’ve been picking with OFRE for a few years now, so one of the friends in the organization has a T-frame jack press, that works really well.  I’d called him ahead of time, and we’d arranged to press it all in one go.

There was too much to do in an evening after he was done work, so we did it in two.  Mix of eating & crabs produces a very nice blended flavour.  If you ever have the chance, try to do some small batches of juice to see what different apples taste like. If you think all juice is the same… you haven’t been picking & preserving long enough.  =)

The following day was batch pasteurization day.  We have a lot of jars that have been handed down to us from family members who don’t use them anymore.  It’s very nice for us to have them all, and on a day like that day was… it was a necessity. 

100 L of apple juice, canned in 1 Day. Sweet (not sweetened, just very tasty as is.  Also – pun).

While I was busy with the juice, my wife and her Gramma were working on applesauce.  Remember, that new baby we had?  Well, we figured making our own applesauce would be a good plan.  So we had nearly 100lbs of that sauced too.  Much of it was frozen, as we were still running out of jars at this point (and a little sick of canning).  Applesauce is also great in baked goods – especially the chocolate chip walnut spice cookies I’m eating while writing this.  As an added bonus, my daughter really enjoys it now!  Huzzah!

This was a big part of the fulfilling part of the year.  Being with OFRE now for a few years, the whole family is involved.  It’s bringing us closer together.  We’re eating great food.  And we are spending time together in meaningful ways.

I hope my little one has great memories of this like I did, so that one day she can follow in my footsteps, like I do in my parents and grandparents, and great-grandparents.

By Jordan A. Wilson