Volunteers for the California-based Village Harvest picked more than 900 pounds of persimmons to give to people who might not have the money to purchase costly produce, so they can enjoy the seasonal bounty.

Village Harvest began two years ago, when Craig Diserens founded a backyard gleaning effort that now gathers thousands of pounds of fresh fruit from historical orchards (some planted during the Gold Rush 150 years ago) and private property.

Within a three hour time span about 15 volunteers gathered at the local food agency and received instructions and maps to nearby homes where they were to pick crate after crate of persimmons.

The Village Harvest van was equipped with all of the tools needed to carry out the mission– ladders, telescoping pickers to reach the highest branches, crates, gloves, rakes and more. Three hours later the bounty included 900 pounds of fresh persimmons and a happy volunteers who had come together to benefit their community.

Villageharvest.org volunteers gleaned nearly 500,000 pounds last year alone, and delivered it to local hunger programs.

What differentiates Village Harvest’s Orchards Harvesting Program is their commitment to preserving and restore old orchards for future generations.

The Good People Fund, founded by Naomi Eisenberger (pictured above, with Craig) provides grants to keep the harvest going.

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