We are a small group of working people trying to reduce fruit loss in the Truckee Meadows. The Reno Gleaning Project has two seasons. We have our partner development season which begins on January 15th and ends on June 15th. During this time, we interview and recruit pickers and assess donation opportunities out of the many organizations and entities that feed people in our area.
Then we have our harvest season. Harvest begins with first fruit, usually cherries and apricots in July or August and goes to November 15 when consecutive freezes and daylight savings time shuts us down.
If you visit the site in either season you will notice our contact button changes between Volunteer Today and Request Service. This allows us to stay focused on the work of our season and better serve the community at large.
There are several ways to partner with the RGP to distribute the amazing fruit that grows in the Truckee Meadows.
Opportunities are structured below based on the amount of time you have to offer.
1-3 hours per year
Growers are the foundation of our project and we are so grateful for your tree stewardship. If you have a tree, there are a few key things that will improve the production of your tree for your consumption and for your donation. Beginning in 2019 fruit will be picked on a best in, first out based. That means we will need to check quality before assigning a picker.
To increase your chances of producing donatable fruit you can:
Give your tree a Drink!
Watering your tree through winter reduces fruit drop and significantly reduces the amount of yard clean up you will have to do before we come pick.
Pull your hose to the canopy edge and water 15 minutes a month when your sprinklers are turned off. This is extremely helpful in retaining your root ball which supports the fruit through the hot summer months.
Give your tree a hair cut!
Our maximum picking height is 25 feet. Dwarf trees are preferred and recommended if you plan to plant for donation. We will pick larger trees but can rarely reach above 20ft. The tree should have significant fruit left to warrant a visit. If you have picked all the fruit below 20 feet, we cannot offer you any additional support. If your tree is large or leggy, prune aggressively. This will improve fruit quality and fruit retention. It will also prevent "self pruning" which is when trees break from too much fruit on the limbs.
Give your tree a sweep!
If you have a tree that fruits heavy with many small pieces of fruit, you can thin in the summer. Once fruit has set, usually by June 15, take a broom and gently sweep the branches to remove about half the tiny pieces. This will drastically improve your harvest and prevent breakage and even reduce pests.
Give your tree a beauty treatment!
Clean all fallen fruit and leaves and place codling moth traps for apples and pears in the spring. These are the most economical way to reduces codling moth or wormholes and will cut your infestation in half for about 20 dollars.
You can also do dormant oil or Kaolin Clay spraying. We recommend organic spraying and recommend using a local tree service. It is best to hire professionals to do this if you have the means and are serious about harvesting and donating premium fruit and don't have the time or ability yourself.
Clean the picking area:
We do request that the tree area is relatively clean and free of debris, fallen fruit, animal waste and thorn bushes. If the ground is treacherous, we cannot pick. Pickers often come directly from their day jobs and are dressed accordingly. If you have had pest problems in the past, we recommend thoroughly cleaning under your tree and hanging codling moth pheromone traps in your tree at first blossom.
3 to 30 hours per year
We commit a minimum of 3 hours of service to each property owner who invites us to harvest their ripe edible fruit. As a picker, you are given the request for service. You then contact the grower and arrange a pick. You need reliable transportation, sturdy bags for collecting fruit, an extension pole picker. Ladders are only used if provided by the homeowner.
A list of non-profit organizations that feed people is provided and you can choose where you want to donate. We encourage pickers to identify new donation opportunities and we are willing to support any organization in town that feeds people.
30-50 Hours per year
This position is best suited for people with a flexible or mobile work schedule who drive around town for their work like outside sales people and realtors. People who want to participate but are not physically capable of picking may also find this job fun.
Tell us about your organization so we can bring you some fruit as a donation outlet!
We are most interested in donations of time and talent but we realize many people because of work and family obligations can’t give that. If you still want to support our work, financial support is most appreciated. Generous donations have been instrumental in making this organization a registered 501c3 non-profit our EIN# is 82-2650231.
We accept checks made out to:
Reno Gleaning Project
Please mail to:
7264 Glenmore Ct
Reno, NV 89523.
All donations go to support fruit collection and distribution efforts, fees for our website and forms.
There are no paid positions at the project and our picking is always free.
Tree caretakers are welcomed to contact us at the first sign of ripeness.
We will arrange to collect fruit on a first call first served basis. Don’t wait too long.
Fruit that is firm is best for donation!
A large tree can produce 200-1500 lbs of beautiful fruit. We need help to distribute before it spoils. We are so grateful to support the work of Boys and Girls Club, the Eddy House, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Bristlecone, Hands of Hope Food Bank, Reno Initiative for Shelter and Equality, Saint Vincents, Reno Sparks Gospel Mission, Community Health Alliance and many more.
Grow for us!
Water, prune and clean under your tree. If you really want to get fancy you can fertilize and thin your fruit. TMWA has resources to help you care for your tree!
Is your fruit almost ready to eat? Request a glean! Click our request service button and fill out the form. I will receive your request and assign the next available picker.