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Not Far From The Tree

When a homeowner in Toronto, Canada can’t keep up with the harvest produced by their trees, some of them let “Not Far From The Tree” know and volunteers come by to pick the fruit.

The harvest is split three ways: 1/3 is offered to the tree owner, 1/3 is shared among the volunteers, and 1/3 is delivered by bicycle to be donated to food banks, shelters, and community kitchens.

This is a good example of a project that helps “sensitize stakeholders” thereby scaling the 6th face of Ray Anderson‘s Mount Sustainability.

Photo credit: NFFTT

Photo credit: NFFTT

Awareness in the community gets raised by this project while making good use of healthy food, addressing climate change with hands-on community action, and building community by sharing the urban abundance.
In 2010 Not Far from the tree picked nearly 20,000 lbs of fruit from 226 trees, participated in 40+ fairs, festivals, and community events across the city and ran 12 preserving workshops.Click the image to watch the video in H.264

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Spreading the harvest and sensitizing the community about sharing good, locally produced food. Sensitizing stakeholders, in this case, owners of urban fruit trees and agencies in need of healthy food.

Remember – in the battle to save the planet, scale the sustainability mountain. Share your story of how you’re scaling the sustainability mountain by entering our contest, and you’ll be eligible to win a prize, including being featured on TV as our next GreenHero!

By Joan Prowse, Producer/Director

Tzeporah Berman

I was impressed to see that NBC premiered in prime time on Friday, November 19, a film called Harmony. The film shines a spotlight on innovative efforts to protect the planet. Prince Charles is the host and the film visits places like B.C.’s Great Bear Rainforest to show eco-solutions.

Harmony commends the work of ForestEthics for creating an unprecedented collaboration between environmentalists, industry, native groups and government.

ForestEthics co-founder, Tzeporah Berman, is one of the GreenHeroes profiled in tonight’s episode, Tree of Life.

Another featured GreenHero in tonight’s episode is Wangari Maathai. I was fortunate to meet her when she was speaking with students at Concordia University in Montreal last fall.

I was moved to tell her story when I saw the film Taking Root at HotDocs in the spring of 2008.

The documentary won the audience award at this international documentary festival. What engaged me was the film’s opening scene.

Wangari with Joan Prowse (left) & Field Producer Lina Cino (right)

Laura Reinsborough

Wangari recounts the story of a fig tree that, once removed, brought drought to her village. It was surprising to learn that as trees were removed, the repercussions this action had on people’s supply to food and clean drinking water were intensified.

Also inspiring to me was the courage shown by Wangari and Tzeporah to make change (both received criminal charges and Wangari went to jail).

I was encouraged by Wangari’s comment that you can have mentors and friends who support you in your struggle, but you cannot overlook the importance of “the strength you have within yourself” to sustain you through times of trial and tribulation.

Not to be overlooked is the third GreenHero in tonight’s episode, Laura Reinsborough. Like Tzeporah and Wangari, her simple yet innovative idea to harvest local fruit launched her organization, Not Far From The Tree.

Want to be a part of the action? Learn more about Wangari Maathai and start Talking Climate Change by visiting our campaign page!

Tree of Life premieres on TVO tonight at 7 p.m. and repeats on Saturday, November 27 at 4 p.m.

Remember – in the battle to save the planet, it’s time to speak up:
Share your story of how you’re starting a discussion on climate change and the environment and how you’re making your voice heard by entering our contest, and you’ll be eligible to win a prize, including being featured on TV as our next GreenHero! Contest details and more information can be found here.

GreenHeroes.tv is all about saving the planet, one story at a time. Do you have a great story to tell about how you’re helping to make the world a greener place? Enter the contest to nominate a friend or yourself – you could be one of Canada’s next GreenHeroes!

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