Need fruit? Bear Aware launches fall harvest swap

COLUMBIA VALLEY — Bear Aware is out to connect owners of fruit trees and bushes with those in need of some fall bounty.

COLUMBIA VALLEY — Bear Aware is out to connect owners of fruit trees and bushes with those in need of some fall bounty.

To get involved in the first Columbia Valley fruit swap, call Bear Aware co-ordinator Crystal Leonard at 250-688-1511 or email

If you have fruit that needs to be picked, leave your name, address and the type of fruit available for harvest.

If you’re looking for some tasty eats, supply your name and the type of fruit you are seeking.

Leanord will then connect potential harvesters with the right trees and bushes, and send them out to pick.

In addition to keeping unwanted fruit from going to waste, Leonard says the fruit swap will help minimize a major fall bear attractant.

“Next to household garbage, fruit trees are the second greatest bear attractant in our community,” she says.

For those with extra apples and an urge for some juice, Leonard is also offering the use of a fruit press.

Bear Aware recommends picking fruit and allowing it to ripen indoors, or monitoring trees and berry bushes daily and picking as fruit ripens. Fallen fruit should be picked up rather than left under the tree.

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