News / Saskatoon

Urban fruit co-op goes digital

Saskatoon’s urban fruit sharing co-op Out of Your Tree (OoYT) has teamed up with the non-profit tech collective Whitespace to get a digital upgrade for harvest.

The online app, called Pando Branches will help automate tree registration and organize volunteers for harvest, which is currently being managed manually by the group’s coordinator Danae Taylor.

“Last year we did 14 harvests and it was a lot. It doesn’t really sound like much but it was a lot,” said Taylor

Taylor says that the application will help OoYT expand their reach and organize harvests more efficiently.

“We’re hoping to have neighbourhood coordinators so when people sign up, we’re hoping that it’ll maybe disperse the work rather than having me coordinate everything,” said Taylor.

Flavio Ishii, a OoYT volunteer and a member of WhiteSpace, said that currently the group is looking for grants and funding to build the application.

"We have teamed up with the Saskatchewan Intercultural Association and will have an intern to work with us on the project," said Ishii.

The team has also secured one grant,$500 EcoFriendly Action Grant from EcoFriendly Sask, but will need more money to complete the work required.

Ishii also said that once the application is completed, the technology will be opensourced so that other similar cooperatives in other cities can get the same benefit as OoYT in Saskatoon.

OoYT divides the bounty from each harvest into thirds, giving one-third to the homeowner, another to the volunteers, and the final to a local charity. Last year they donated much of their harvests to the YWCA.

Currently, OoYT already has 32 fruit bearing trees and bushes registered and their harvests include crab apples, baking apples, raspberries and rhubarb.

If you know of a charity or group who would benefit from a donation of fresh, local fruit or if you would like to learn more contact OoYT on their facebook page.

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