1) Tract as Adaptable Form Letter:

Approach Homeowners about Harvesting their Tree’s Fruit

Re: Your Extra Fruit?

Dear Neighbor (personalize this as much as you can, even if it is just Dear Resident at 123 Avocado Street),

This is a bit awkward; I am not sure exactly how to proceed.  But, here goes:  First off, let me introduce myself.  My name is Al/Sue and I live next door (3 houses down, two streets over, etc… or my friend Marie/Miguel lives next door, etc… or I have been taking walks/going for bicycle rides in the neighborhood recently).

I have noticed you have a beautiful fruit tree (specify what kind) in your (back/front/side) yard.  It seems that many people who have these micro-orchards are not able to eat all of their fruit and much of it falls to the ground, only to attract pests.  It also seems that many people do not know much about their trees’ needs (with pruning, how to harvest, mulching and watering in order to produce the best tasting fruit).  It is no fun to watch food go to waste.

Recently, I have come across an idea which finds homeowners who have fruit trees that they are not able (for a multitude of reasons) to harvest/consume all of the their tree’s fruit, and then to match them up with people who are experienced and excited about harvesting fruit, but who may not have trees of their own.

The plan should produce a win-win situation for all involved.  The homeowner feels that their fruit is not going to waste, and the enthusiastic-yet-tree-poor-harvester gets to help maintain a fruit bearing tree and in exchange gets to enjoy some of the fruit.

So, here is my proposal to you (only if you are interested, but if you get a weird creeped-out vibe, then no hard feelings, and you can always change your mind) that we set up this tree owner/tree harvester exchange. 

The way it works is this: 
1) You can call/email me to let me know that you are interested in hearing more and in possibly pursuing some version of this which works for both of us. 
2) We meet up (briefly) in person to look at the tree and make some decisions about pruning, mulching, watering
3)  When the fruit becomes ripe you contact me and I will come harvest the fruit; leaving with all of the hard to reach and fruit-in-excess of what you will be able to consume. 
4) You will enjoy easily picked fruit and the satisfaction of knowing your fruit is going to good use (please note that no money is ever exchanged between the two of us).

There are other people doing this same idea on various levels throughout North America and I am sure all over the world.  I originally saw the idea online at http://www.RoutesAndMethods.org/Private/Trees.html and they have an expanding list of links.  

Thank you for considering this proposal and I look forward to hearing from you to see if we can work out a win-win situation between us.

I can be reached at (123) 456-7891 or via email at me@email.com

Looking Forward,

Al/Sue (with your last name)


This Tract has been produced by RoutesAndMethods specifically for The Tract House, a project by Lisa Anne Auerbach at the Contemporary Museum in Baltimore for the show, Cottage Industry.  We have been looking for an opportunity to spread the word about this idea and hope to hear from you if you have successfully implemented it in your neighborhood or how you have personalized this letter or any feedback on the idea.

2) LInks to Projects doing something in a larger and more organized way:

http://www.environmentalsurvival.com/ a project in New Mexico


Vancouver Fruit Tree Project  2-261 East 17th Ave. Vancouver BC V5V 1A6  http://www.vcn.bc.ca/fruit/home.htm



Fallen Fruit - www.fallenfruit.org 

Fruit Tree Tour Common Vision - www.commonvision.org

EarthWorks Projects, The Edward L. Cooper Gardening and Education Center  34 Linwood St. Roxbury MA 02119  www.earthworksboston.org

Green Guerillas  214 West 29th Street, 5th Floor New York, NY 10001  www.greenguerillas.org

Toronto Public Space Committee, Guerilla Gardening  253 College, Box 372 Toronto ON M5T 1R5  www.publicspace.ca/gardeners.htm

Guerrilla Gardening – London - www.guerrillagardening.org

E-Mail us more links!

Harvest Private Trees

Have you ever seen a fruit tree in someone's yard go nearly all to waste rotting on the ground? Combine that with the wish that you had a fruit tree to harvest of your own? Well...

This page offers two resources:

1) A Tract as Adaptable Form Letter to a homeowner with excess fruit. This letter was originally created as a tract for Lisa Anne Auerbach's Tract House.

The Tract House is a "spread-the-word" project debuting at the Contemporary Museum in Baltimore, June and July, 2008. As part of the "Cottage Industries" exhibition, The Tract House will be distributing free tracts to the public.

2) Linksto the many other projects around who are implementing similar lines of thought. E-Mail us more links!