Volunteer harvesting apples

One of the silver linings of the 2020 pandemic has been the opportunity to work more closely with our friends at Filoli, the historic estate near Woodside. The main gardens have many fruit trees throughout, and there is a separate "Gentleman's Orchard" of more than 600 apple and pear trees plus types on the property.

Filoli has been making good use of their very abundant garden, with their volunteers and staff picking fruit to make fruit butters and ciders (hard and soft) for their visitors and public events. And for around 10 years Village Harvest has held an annual big harvest of the Gentleman's Orchard at season's end to benefit local food agencies.

This year Filoli had fewer volunteers available to pick fruit themselves, and we expanded the Village Harvest - Filoli collaboration with weekly events beginning in August. Through the efforts of 70 volunteers and team leaders Thomas Beck and Jim Murray, in 7 harvests we picked and donated picked a total of 6,078 lbs. to St. Anthony's Padua Dining Room in Menlo Park and Second Harvest of Silicon Valley. As many as 6,000 people in need benefitted from our efforts together.

The season finale was a big harvest on Wednesday Sept. 30 of 1,978 lbs. donated to Second Harvest. Enjoy a few photos in the gallery from that successful event.

We'd like to offer special thanks to Filoli Horticultural Manager Kate Nowell; we're grateful for the longstanding relationship and the opportunity to share the abundance of this historic property for the benefit of so many.