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 the fruit and put it to good use. She started bringing fruit to the nearby Wychwood Barns Farmer’s Market, which was just getting started at the time. 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 pounds 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.
Not Far From The Tree is now operating in 15 city wards across Toronto, and over 70,000 pounds of fruit have been picked and shared. 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.