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Sustainable Fruits: Free Fruit Tree Program

Watsonville Wetlands Watch is excited to announce that we received a grant to give away 600 fruit trees. These fruit trees are important at helping us reach our goal of increasing our city's low canopy cover while also providing the benefit of bringing food to our community.

So far in 2021 we have given away 119 fruit trees and we have 481 more trees to go. 

Next fruit tee Workshop and Giveaway 

Our next fruit tree workshop Saturday, December 4th at the Fitz Wetlands Education Resource Center at the back parking lot of Pajaro Valley High School. 500 Harkins Slough Road 

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Click this link (Shade Watsonville) to learn about our free shade tree adoption program . 

Here are some ways that fruit trees can make your life more sustainable:

Eat Local Fruit With a Lower Carbon Foot Print

A lot of the fruit you get from the grocery store had to travel hundreds sometimes thousands of miles before you could buy it. Especially if you buy fruit that is not in season. By growing your fruit you can reduce the amount of fruit you buy that had to travel long distances to make it to your plate. Transporting food over long distances generates great quantities of carbon dioxide emissions. The best thing you can do is to start growing more of your food. 

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Eat Fruit That Was Grown Using No Chemicals

In the industrial agriculture system, fruits and vegetables are grown in monocultures. Monoculture is the agricultural practice of growing a single crop, plant, or livestock species, variety, or breed in a field or farming system at a time. Monoculture farming uses a lot of pesticides, fungicides, and herbicides to get rid of weeds, pests, and diseases but those chemicals also harm beneficial organisms. To get the plants to grow faster farmers often overuse chemical fertilizers. To transport food long distances, a lot of fruit is picked while still unripe and gas is used to “ripen” it after transport, or it is highly processed in factories using preservatives, irradiation, and other means to keep it stable for transport and sale. These chemicals call all make it into our ecosystems and our bodies causing a lot of harm. When you grow your own food you can choose not to use any chemicals.

tractor sprays insecticide in cherry orchard agriculture spring season

Compost Your Fruit Scaps and Rotting Fruit

You will have some food waste from your fruit and the good news is that you can turn it into compost. In your yard near your tree, you can set up a compost system. The City of Watsonville has a composting program. You can receive a free compost bin after attending one of their workshops to learn how to maintain a compsoting system. You can find more information on their website. When food waste is sent to the landfill it is quickly covered by more garbage and the organisms trying to break down the food have to work with no oxygen. When this happens these organisms release methane, a greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change. By composting your food you are reducing the amount of methane released from our landfills.  

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Sustainable Friendships and Communities

As your fruit tree gets older you might find that you can not eat all of the fruit that is growing on it. The good news is that there are always people you can share with. You can give the extra fruit away to your friends and neighbors. This can help you build stronger connections as you share food and spend time together. You can even teach your friends and neighbors about the benefits of growing your own fruit.

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Sustainable Health

The chemicals used in agricultural food production are not only in your food but also make their way into your body. Many of these chemicals have been linked to diseases like cancer, skin diseases, hormonal imbalances, and nervous system problems. By growing your own food without chemicals you are decreasing your chances of having these problems. Also, people who grown their own food eat more fruit and vegetables. The food you grow yourself also tends to have more nutrients because it got to ripen before being harvested and shipped. All of these things together can contribute to you being a healthier person overall.

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