June 27, 2012
I studied at KFI, a school where there were plenty of trees just waiting to be climbed… so many, in fact, that we were encouraged to ‘adopt’ a tree each, and watch it grow over the year. Our school also had a farm where we used to visit and help out, and I always felt like I knew exactly where the food on my plate was coming from (and that I’d contributed to getting it there, even!)
Given that background, you can probably understand my immediate attraction towards Not Far From the Tree. If you haven’t heard of them yet (and I’m confident you will, in the following years!) they’re a group that makes good use of Toronto’s abundant supply of fruit by helping tree-owners pick and harvest their bounty. I haven’t been able to go on a fruit pick yet because they get filled up so fast, but a friend of mine led a cherry picking one, where she got 1/5th of 1/3rd of the harvest (1/3rd goes to volunteers, there were 5)… I got a portion of her portion and that was enough to keep me knee-deep in cherries for a week!
I was really happy to help out at Not Far From The Tree’s 5th Anniversary event, where they shared their incredible accomplishments to date with their volunteers.
Me at the Event
I got to 401 Richmond and fell in instant love with the old fashioned brick building and the incredibly green rooftop deck. Apparently that garden used to be open to the public until recently, which is a pity, because it’s gorgeous and I can picture myself whiling a good evening away over there. It was definitely the perfect location for this party though, with the vegan snacks, gelatos and cupcakes fitting right into the décor.
Since there was a big sign at the door of the building saying the garden had been closed to the public (again, wince!), I was on door duty telling volunteers that the garden was still open especially for them and that they could go on up to enjoy the fruits of their labour! It was a fun job, I ran into some people I’d met at The Stop’s Night Market the previous week, and even the talented gentleman who’d designed the NFFTT tee I was wearing. It was definitely a happy crowd that cut that birthday cake with fond memories of their first ever pick, and I’m looking forward to the day when I can blog about my first ever pick too :)
What I loved: Location, location, location. NFFTT’s new office is going to be hosted in the same building where the party happened and it looks idyllic. It fit the group very nicely together, and I got a huge kick out of Steamwhistle’s beer display at the event. They’d also had a fun van at The Stop’s Night Market the previous week, and I love how they seem to be associated with groups that I wholeheartedly support!
What I didn’t love: It threatened to rain off and on, but that was the only cloud (literally!) on a beautiful evening. It was also a bit sad that some people who got to the party early left before the actual cake cutting, or came after the treats from Magic Oven were all gone.
Overall: So glad there were slots open for a volunteer opportunity! I’m waiting to pounce on the next email that comes in and (hopefully) register myself before anyone else can :)