Tag Archives: 2011

OFRE goes to MEAET 1.0 with pedal powered apple crusher design, Nov. 26

This past summer, OFRE pitched an idea at a great Edmonton initiative put together by Next Gen called MEAET that strives to put micro-funding in the hands of people doing good for the city and community. Everyone who attends the event contributes a fee, and then after all the ideas are pitched, everyone enjoys a meal together and casts their vote for they idea they feel should  receive the funding at the end of the night. We pitched an idea for funding to go towards the development of a pedal-powered apple crusher. One of the conditions of winning is that you will come back to the next MEAET in 11 weeks time to present what you have accomplished so far with your micro-grant funding.

Mike Johnson, the team lead for the project, put together a great progress report that captures the people involved, the ideas, the design questions we tackled in building a pedal powered crusher that can work for a variety of people who differ in age, height and body weight.


Voting for the Aviva Community Funding Grant begins Nov 14th – Please vote!

Well, fruit season may be over, but OFRE volunteers have been busy this fall planning for the next season!

OFRE has put together a funding proposal for the Aviva Community Grant competition and needs your support. This is a social grant and making it into the semi-finals depends on getting enough votes from people who support your project.

What does OFRE hope to do with the funding?

We hope to secure a space in the city for OFRE to process cider from Edmonton grown apples, host canning workshops and help people develop food preservation skills, develop a small lending library with resource materials for members, pay for a coordinator position for 1 year, and buy cold storage units to keep fruit fresh until it can be processed. OFRE has run on the goodwill of volunteers for the past 3 years without adequate funding and needs funding to continue. We have a solid plan in place to grow sustainably, benefit the community, and give back to Edmontonians.

We love rescuing fruit, sharing in with charitable organizations, and teaching Edmontonians about local fruit. Please read our proposal found in the link below for more information.

Help OFRE win by voting for us! Every vote counts and your support means a lot to us!

Voting runs from Nov 14th (today) until Nov 30th.

Click on this link: https://www.avivacommunityfund.org/ideas/acf12914

Then register in Aviva and get voting! You have 15 votes and can vote for each idea once per day.

Thanks again and wish us good luck! If you have any problems, let me know and I’ll do my best to help.

OFRE fruit captains turned farm gleaners for a day

As you may know OFRE rescues unwanted fruits from private property where homeowners have registered their trees/bushes with us. We have not rescued vegetables before, until now…We got an interesting phone call request from a farmer outside of Edmonton asking if we could come and rescue his vegetables. We excitedly said Yes! and  turned this event into a reward for all our hardworking volunteer fruit captains who organized many fruit picks throughout the season. Now they can have full freezers and cellars for the winter ahead.

So, hoe hoe hoe, off we go to the farm! All the veggies were dug by hand and the farmer had a belgian horse team and sled that rode around and picked up the veggies. the kids had a great time riding on the sled with the veggies!

We had helpers big and small and found humour in the day. Check out these two carrot buddies and giant beet!

Most humour was found in calling ourselves city slickers once we realized how many root veggies CAN grow in a 1/4 acre area of land. oy!




The beet, carrot, and onion piles! SOOO many veggies!

Not only did we get to rescue veggies, but we got to eat some too. Ther farmer was so excited about us coming out to the farm, he and his wife planned a pig roast for the gleaners! They roasted the pig that morning while we were gleaning, then we brought up some fresh dug veggies for roasting. YUM!

OFRE brought cider to share with everyone. After all that digging, the delicious food was devoured!

The fun didn’t end there. In true OFRE fashion, the rescued veggies were split into 1/4 shares for the farmers, ofre gleaners, charities, and a portion for OFRE canning/pickling events. After dividing all the veggies up, OFRE gleaners spread the charity share with: Strathcona County Food Bank, Edmonton Food Bank, Youth Emergency Shelter, and the Ronald MacDonald House.

Here is Mike Johnson dropping off a portion at the Edmonton Food Bank. This cart weighed in at: 120 kg of veggies!

Pear Jammin’ Night


It’s pear season, and what better to do with LOTS of pears, than make yummy preserves out of them to last us into the winter! This particular variety of pear is called the Ure Pear. They turn a greenish yellow as they ripen and are very juicy!

For this event, OFRE volunteers met on a Monday evening and together made 2 delicious jam recipes:

  • Pear & Vanilla Bean Jam
  • Pear & Ginger Jam

The Pear & Vanilla Bean Jam recipe uses real vanilla beans that are first scraped out to remove all the beany goodness inside and then the beans and scraped bits are put to simmer in the pot with the pears. The smell of this jam on the stove is heavenly! After the beans have simmered, they are removed and the jam is pureed in the blender to make a smooth saucy jam. Molly declared it’s quite amazing on ice cream!

The Pear & Ginger Jam recipe uses chopped crystallized ginger and keeps the pear chunks in whole form, so the slices end up suspended in the jam. Crystallized ginger as  well as the whole vanilla beans can be found at the Italian Centre Shop. The scent of the ginger awakens you senses and is a nice complement to the pear. This recipe was my mom’s recipe and I always loved this jam. Thanks for sharing mom!

pear jammin

pear jammin night

We strive to teach OFRE volunteers canning basics at our workshops, which means volunteers get involved in all aspects of the process from: chopping, stirring, mixing, and canning. It’s always a pleasure to host these events because many of our volunteers have experience doing as well as an interest in canning. We all seem to learn something new from each other at our canning events, which makes if quite fun for everyone.

Both jams turned out really nicely and their was enough for everyone to take home 1 jar of each kind. The new jams have been also been a hit at our stand @ the Alberta Avenue Farmers Market.

Devonian Garden Fruit Growers Festival, Sep 18th, 11am-4pm

apple tree

This coming sunday is the Annual Fruit Grower’s Festival at the Devonian Gardens. If you have never been for a little trek out of the city to this place, you should go! It is a beautiful setting with a variety of different types of gardens perfect for a afternoon stroll with your sweetie. With courses, workshops, educational events, and expert gardeners on hand, it also a place of learning and discovery.

This weekend is all about fruit and growing fruit in the Edmonton area. The event runs from 11am-4pm. There will be experts you can ask your tree questions to, bring apples to for identification, listen to a lecture on dehydrating fruit techniques, fruit tree & shrub landscaping, and other topics, or stop by and see OFRE and learn about making fresh-pressed apple juice!

Fresh-pressed cider

Fresh-pressed cider

OFRE volunteers will be making fresh pressed apple juice for tasting! Stop by and see how it’s made, talk to the volunteers to ask them about picking fruit in the city, and have a taste! $1/glass with all proceeds going towards OFRE.