August 10, 2018 10:41 pm
Updated: August 10, 2018 10:43 pm

Thousands of fruit trees are ripe for the picking in Lethbridge, but are they being harvested?

The city bears thousands of fruit trees on both private property and public lands.

Demi Knight

Thousands of trees throughout the city bear cherries, pears and apples, all of which are ready to be harvested in the hot summer months.

But as the calendar ticks by, these once ripe foods fall to the ground and go to waste.

However, the Sustainable Living Association is hoping to help the public take advantage of this food source with their fruit rescue program.

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“We have thousands of public and thousands of private trees actually in our area,” says Mandy Sandbach, president of the Lethbridge Sustainable Living Association. “And so if we can harvest and utilize that, then that’s one less thing we have to ship in mass quantities from other places.”

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The fruit rescue program was introduced to help residents harvest fruit on their own property who have an abundance of products, or an inability to pick it themselves.

But Sandbach says it’s not just about private property, as she also encourages residents to look within the city for free fruit, adding that besides saving money, picking locally also offers more nutrition and less chemical pesticides.

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“The other benefit of having localized fruit production specifically is that there’s no need to spray in the ways we do when we have a monoculture crop of fruit,” says Sandbach.

“We’re getting a more clean, organic product as well which is more nutrient dense for people.”

READ MORE: Hungry? Grab fresh fruit off a tree for free in Kirkland’s ‘fruit alley’

But it isn’t only the Lethbridge Sustainable Living Association that’s hoping to create a better awareness of local fruit ready for the taking but the city as well.

A map has now been released displaying the locations of all forestry ready for harvesting within the community, showcasing that in 2017, Lethbridge was home to just shy of 4,000 trees ripe for the picking.

WATCH: Lethbridge sets new heat record, but still not hot enough to fry an egg

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