Harvest Pierce County

Read the latest from Harvest Pierce County: includes updates on our Gleaning Project, Community Gardens, and more!

Oct 30

Harvestival Celebration 2023

Posted on October 30, 2023 at 9:47 AM by Gracie DeMeo

A photo collage of the Harvestival night. Photo one is a group photo of the harvest team, Photo two

Harvest Pierce County Celebrates With a Harvestival!

Harvest Pierce County hosted a Harvestival Celebration to express our gratitude to the community that has contributed to the success of our programming. The event brought together gleaning branch leaders and fruit tree assessors, local farmers, community gardeners, Farm Foundations cohort members, Radical Growth graduates, and so many more. The support and effort of these community members is the reason HPC can accomplish our mission of investing in people to foster and sustain an equitable and healthy community-based food system throughout Pierce County.

 We celebrated with a potluck, music, crafts, games, and refreshments including a tasting from one of our gleaning project collaborations SPIN Cider. A special thank you to the community members that could make it to the Harvestival this year, and we extend our gratitude to those who could not. Cheers to 2023’s successful growing and harvesting season!

Oct 27

Harvest Pierce County Celebrates a Historically Successful Gleaning Season

Posted on October 27, 2023 at 1:09 PM by Gracie DeMeo

The Gleaning Project had one of its biggest years to date in its nearly decade-long history. Our current poundage stands at 58,380 pounds of harvested and distributed produce that would have otherwise gone to waste. Our team of four Fruit Tree Assessors traveled to 145 sites (and counting) across Pierce County which contain varying amounts of fruit trees, vines, and bushes.

Four volunteers at a farm, kneeling down and harvesting kale for donation.

Volunteers hard at work gleaning kale at Early Bird Farm.

Each fruit-producing plant is assessed for pest and disease issues. The site then receives a detailed, individualized Orchard Plan, which aims to significantly increase the health of our urban orchards. The Gleaning Project has a team of six Branch Leaders: Jessica, Jane, Nik, Wendy, Melissa, and Amanda. Our Branch Leaders along with volunteer harvesters, staff, and an AmeriCorps Service member have harvested 53,426 pounds of food to date (and counting!). We would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to our Fruit Tree Assessment team: Ursula, David, Kimberly, and Luke. We also give a special thank you to Pierce County Master Gardener Chris Dobbins for aiding us in appropriately diagnosing pest and disease issues and supplying information on current standard mitigation practices. 

Grey and blue bins full of apples in a storage area.

Grey and blue bins stacked high with apples, sorted for the gleaning project.

Not only have our Branch Leaders harvested this vast amount of produce, but they have all helped us distribute it to Hunger Relief Organizations, and small businesses such as local small-scale livestock farmers, and cideries. We give a round of applause to our Branch Leader team, especially in the month of August when things got very intense!!  29,733 pounds of produce harvested by the Gleaning Project have gone directly to Hunger Relief Organizations to feed our community members in need. 3,725 pounds went to Site Stewards for allowing us to harvest the fruit-producing plants they steward and Volunteer Harvesters as a thank-you for their generous time and labor. The remaining 19,968 pounds went to our new pilot program, the Closed Loop Community program, which diverts fruit that would otherwise go to waste due to its pest and disease issues to local artisans for their cideries, mead, and jams, and to local livestock farmers to feed their animals.  

Two volunteers posing with freshly washed leafy green harvest, prepping for food bank donation.

Two volunteers posing with freshly washed leafy green harvest, prepping for food bank donation.

Apr 05

2023 Spring Garden Summit

Posted on April 5, 2023 at 10:10 AM by Camila Matamala-Ost

    Backdrop of soil with 3 different small shovels used for gardening, and a small sprouting plant. Overlayed is text that reads “Spring Garden Summit, Saturday May 6th/ 10a-2p Lincoln High School 701 37tg St, Tacoma, WA, 98418.” Make Plans to Attend Harvest Pierce County’s Spring Garden Summit

May 6th, 10:00am-2:00pm, Lincoln High School: 701 S 37th St, Tacoma, WA 98418

Harvest Pierce County’s Spring Garden Summit is quickly approaching, and we’d love to see you there. The Summit (part of the Edible Gardens Workshop series) is an educational and interactive event focused on food, the environment, and our community. Our keynote is a virtual experience from Leah Penniman author of Uprooting Racism, Seeding Sovereignty followed by a variety of classes, workshops, and food to choose from.

Register here to attend.