Neighborday Communities

Neighborday Idea #6: Organize a Neighborhood Fruit Harvest

by Autumn Rooney

April 24, 2015

April 25 marks the fifth anniversary of Neighborday, a global block party we invented to get people talking (and partying) with the people who live around them. Leading up to the big day, we’re sharing creative ways organizations in our native Los Angeles are connecting with the folks who share their walls and fences.

Stay tuned this week for more ideas about how to celebrate. #LetsNeighbor

Neighborday 2015 Idea #6:

Organize a Neighborhood Fruit Harvest.

As a co-founder of the Arroyo S.E.C.O. Network of Time Banks, I’m all about paying it forward. Time banking means spending a little time doing something for somebody in your community—an hour of service would go into the time bank as a time credit, which would give you an hour to spend on getting someone else to do something for you.

It’s a simple idea, but time banks can have powerful ripple effects in building community connections. Setting up a time bank in your neighborhood is well worth it, but can take awhile to get started. As a first step, try connecting your community through a simple group project like a fruit harvest.

If you’re in a warm climate, a fruit harvest would be so simple to pull off for Neighborday this Saturday. There are really only three steps involved:

1. Invite your neighbors to share the fruit from their trees.

2. Throw a harvest party where everyone helps pick the fruit.

3. Divide up the fruit among yourselves and donate the excess to charity.

Fruit harvests (or any kind of backyard garden harvest) will strengthen your neighborhood, provide easier access to healthy locally grown food, reduce waste, and bridge the gap between unmet needs and unused resources by harvesting and sharing the surplus fruit growing in your neighborhood. In the longer term, a fruit harvest can function as a training workshop for potential future time bank members, helping them learn new skills like proper pruning and tree care techniques, so that they can eventually offer these services to homeowners in your neighborhood. If you don’t have fruit trees where you are, any kind of relevant landscaping skills could prove helpful, as well.

The Arroyo S.E.C.O. Network of Time Banks (A.S.N.T.B.) is a local exchange system designed to inspire trust and reciprocity. It is a collective working towards empowering the community by facilitating cooperative trade. Time Banking is built on the idea that each of us has unique gifts, talents and resources to share and that everyone’s time is equal. The ASNTB aims to encourage systemic social change and economic equality.

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Neighborday Idea #6: Organize a Neighborhood Fruit Harvest