Les Fruits Defendus is Montreal’s volunteer-led urban fruit harvesting collective hosted by Santropol Roulant. The initiative connects local fruit tree owners with volunteer harvesters and helps ensure that this valuable local food resource does not go to waste. After the fruit is harvested, it is divided in three between the tree owner, volunteers, and a beneficiary organization. The collective leads fruit harvests in neighbourhoods in the central part of the city, including the Plateau and Mile End, Rosemont – La Petite Patrie, Parc-Extension, and Villeray.
Les Fruits Defendus aims to:
- Reduce food waste
- Make good use of local food and increase its accessibility
- Facilitate knowledge-sharing about urban fruit harvest
In our heartsFruit, people, nature, ideas, knowledge, skills.
In our lifeHealth, accountability, ecology, sustainability, nature in the city.
In our actions Transparency, horizontal, creativity, multilingualism, intergenerational, down-to-earth, resilience.
In our communitySolidarity, cooperation, encouragement, kindness, sharing,
acceptance, inclusion, diversity, openness!
Come Join us!There are many ways to participate in this collective. Tree owners, volunteer harvesters and recipients each receive a third of the bounty from each harvest! Get in touch with the collective for more info about how to participate!
Do you have a fruit tree or two in your backyard? We can come and pick the fruit for you when it’s ripe! We harvest cherries, Saskatoon berries, plums, peaches, pears, apples, grapes and more. We pick primarily in the Plateau but also in other areas of Montreal.
Are you a food-security organization in Montreal? We donate many kilos of fruit each season to local food banks and community organizations. Fruit is either fresh or transformed into delicious jams, sauces, or other preserved items.
HARVESTERS & HELPERS
Do you have a few spare hours to share the shade of a fruit tree with another volunteer, picking fruit? Each season, hundreds of Montrealers join us for picks, and volunteers help organize picks and events, present at urban agriculture events and more. Harvesters & helpers are also part of a collective that gathers for social and educational events.
Each season, about 8 people meet weekly to keep the collective thriving. We love fruit! Our decisions are consensus based and driven by the collectives values. Core members are recruited yearly before the season begins, but we’re always interested in hearing from enthusiastic people who want to help out or be a candidate for next year’s core membership.
Keep in touch!
Like a lot of us, I was drawn to Les Fruits Defendus because I love picking fruit and eating fruit, because I feel strongly about reducing food waste, and because I wanted to help give back to my community. I love how every harvest just feels like a win for all those involved: the pickers, the tree owners, the beneficiary organizations.
I joined the core team to help provide that same awesome experience for the hundreds of other Montrealers who’ve shown so much interest in being part of Les Fruits Defendus. It’s such a special initiative that speaks to so many of us – and it has the potential to benefit so many more of us. I want to help Les Fruits Defendus continue to grow and flourish as a collective!Ann-Elise, Core member
I joined the collective shortly after I moved to Montreal, and it certainly shaped how I experience the city. Starting as volunteer picker, I got closer and closer to the core and now I’m one of the old members that give a hand when help is needed. I really appreciate how we deal with an amazing amount of work and very challenging tasks, which we digest along with a lot of love and care by our fruits and community, and that good balance keeps the fire up and the energy positive. With Les Fruits defendus I made precious friends, and very committed teammates. It is a safe and fructuous place for those who want to give energy to a good cause, be around delicious fruits and amazing people! Join the adventure, you won’t regret it!Tassia, Core member