A beautiful orchard lay in a Toronto neighbourhood, teeming with fruit grown mostly for show. Laura Reinsborough, then working at the AGO, was asked to harvest those apples and put them to good use. She started bringing the fruit to the nearby Wychwood Barns Farmer’s Market, at that time just getting started. From that point on, Laura saw her neighbourhood differently as fruit trees became visible in every nook and cranny.
Not Far From The Tree was born, launching its first full season in 2008. Then picking in one neighbourhood and run entirely on volunteer power, the project amassed a crew of 150 volunteers and picked a total of 3,003 lbs of fruit by the end of the season.
Not Far From The Tree is now a project of Tides Canada Initiatives Society, a registered Canadian charity.
For the 2011 season, Not Far From The Tree has doubled its scope from the year previous from 7 to 14 neighbourhoods across the city. The plans have been laid to scale this high-impact and award-winning program across the city, growing by a handful of neighbourhoods each year.