Harvest Westchester began as a new shoot of the Community Garden at Holy Nativity. As volunteers harvested the community garden and carried its fresh fruits and vegetables to Food Pantry LAX, we realized that fruit trees all over our neighborhood were bearing fruit which was often going to waste.
The fruit from unharvested trees rotted on the ground, attracted vermin, created an unsightly mess, and was lost bounty which could be feeding people. Christine B got the idea to collect the excess fruit and add it to the harvests being sent to feed needy local families via Food Pantry LAX. Thus the "first generation" of Harvest Westchester was born.
Local neighbors are now learning that when they get to the "too many zucchini" time of year, they can bring this bounty to Holy Nativity (6700 W. 83rd, Westchester 90045) and the Harvest Westchester team will get it to people who can use it.
Meanwhile, as Environmental Change-Makers and Transition Los Angeles/Westchester delved deeper into the future of food, we came to realize how we need to build a strong local network to help redistribute our backyard harvests. If one person grows too many peaches and another person grows too many tomatoes, shouldn't we swap? In Mar Vista, they have invented a way of doing this on a regular basis. It would be great to bring the Mar Vista model here and take Harvest Westchester into its "next generation."
Ways you can help Harvest Westchester:
- Expand the harvest: Help get the word out about HW, by word of mouth and/or by circulating fliers.
- Harvest teams: If you like to have fun climbing trees, join the fruit harvest teams. These teams go out (on relatively short notice) to harvest the trees of elderly people who cannot harvest.
- Help create "next Gen": Coordinate a group of volunteers to expand the food redistribution aspect of HW, perhaps following the model of Mar Vista.