Volunteer harvesting apricots, Saratoga June 2020

The 2020 "fast and furious" apricot orchard harvest season ended Wednesday July 1 with a sunset pick at the Saratoga Heritage Orchard. In 2 1/2 weeks and three weekends we enjoyed 11 harvests of heritage orchards in Gilroy, Los Gatos, Saratoga, Los Altos Hills, Northeast San Jose, and Gilroy. Together, we harvested a record 8,219 lbs. of apricots, so much that 16,000 or more people in need received fruit from our efforts.

By the numbers:

  • 241 volunteers participating
  • 11 harvests in 18 days (plus 1 cancelled harvest in Palo Alto :(
  • 8 orchard locations, including our first year harvesting the Saratoga Heritage Orchard
  • Harvested 8,219 pounds of apricots, donated to 10 food agencies and food banks from Gilroy to Menlo Park. (Compare to 3,452 pounds in 2019.)
  • Benefitted 16,000 or more people in need in two counties.

Doing many harvest events in a short time requires a LOT of teamwork, and we're all grateful to the 24 volunteers who served as harvest leaders, assistants, and experienced guides for these events.

We also want to thank:

  • The City of Saratoga, community engagement coordinator Kayla Nakamoto, and Ryan Bell and Matthew Sutton of Orchardkeepers for inviting us to harvest the Saratoga Heritage Orchard this year.
  • Swagelok Northern California who donated medical masks so we had important protective equipment available for volunteers in coronavirus times