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Share the bounty with fruit exchange

JoAnne Skelly
For the Nevada Appeal

Wasted fruit often litters the ground in the fall. People don’t pick their fruit for one reason or another. The fruit may have worms; they may be infirm or elderly and no longer able to climb ladders.

Tom Henderson of Healthy Trees came up with a wonderful idea for foraging fruit, nuts and berries and sharing the abundance with food banks, churches, charities, restaurants and even horse owners. He’s looking for tree owners who will allow harvesters to pick unwanted fruit. He’s looking for volunteers to be harvesters primarily in the fall.

It would be great if volunteers had orchard ladders or fruit-picking poles. He is planning fruit swaps. The fruit swaps would look much like a rummage sale or swap meet where fruit is exchanged but no cash is. Tom is also seeking outlets for ripe fruit not claimed at fruit swaps.

Since northern Nevada gardens generally have a huge crop of apples in the fall, often riddled with worms, he is looking for horse and other livestock owners who might want apples. Although Tom is willing to act as coordinator of the neighborhood fruit exchange, he could also use help with the promotion, organization and delivery of the program.

Tom says, “With a coordinated effort, we may be able to extend the recovery of our bounty of locally grown fruit, nuts and berries.” If you find you will have fruit that you will be unable to harvest this year or if you are interested in participating, call Tom Henderson, at 224-3827. He’s already planning the harvest season.

Please note: before I wrote my article on chigger mites, I reviewed maps of where these mites were located. Each map indicated that the family these pests are in does occur in Nevada so I assumed chigger mites occurred in Nevada.

I checked with the state entomologist, Jeff Knight, to confirm their presence here. He said although the family is present in Nevada, the chigger mite members are not. He was more concerned about tick bites, so precautions mentioned against chiggers also apply for ticks.

To prevent tick bites keep weeds cut down and mow the lawn often. Wear pants tucked into socks or boots. Use insect repellant on skin and clothing following label directions when going into areas of heavy grasses, weeds or brush. Avoid sitting or lying on lawns or in patches of vegetation. Stay on roads and trails when out hiking.

• JoAnne Skelly is the Carson City/Storey County Extension educator for University of Nevada Cooperative Extension and may be reached at skellyj@unce.unr.edu or 887-2252.