Have you seen a lot of fruit spoiling in your neighborhood? Does it make you angry to know that most of the produce that makes it into our stores is from out of state?

If you take the time to look around you can find food growing just about everywhere in Albuquerque. From the golden apricots that are falling now to the purslane growing with the recent rain.

This year I finally decided to do something about it and have put into motion the establishment of a non-profit organization, Terra Harvest, that will help homeowners put this food to good use.

I mean, how many apricots can one person eat? We estimated that this tree (half harvested in photo) yielded about 700 pounds of apricots on what turned out to be a bad year. Last year was estimated at about 1,000 pounds. In fact, it kept me busy for three farmer's markets and took about 8 hours to harvest.


Now that I'm out of fruit and can still see it spoiling everywhere in the heights, it's slowly driving me crazy. Luckily for my nerves, most everything in my part of the north valley froze so I don't have to see it on a mass scale. Sorry to all those who did lose their fruit this year. It was a stressful Spring for everyone trying to grow.

If anyone else has or knows of a spoiling apricot tree, please contact me immediately. I will come and personally hand pick it and you will know this will go towards a good cause for helping the establishment of this non-profit. I would also love some leads from those of you with too many apples, peaches, and pears.

Just think, once the 501(3)c status gets back I can supply anyone who allows me to harvest a tax deduction receipt for the market value of their food donation. Plus, who wants to deal with picking up the mess. This is just some of what fell while I was picking. I can't imagine what 700 pounds might look like.


Here's what it looked from inside the middle of the tree. This wasn't a bad place to spend my Friday afternoon. Particularly, when it's typically locked to doing work on the computer.


On another note, it would be awesome if people would post their best apple recipes in preparation for the fall harvest. Beyond cider, I'll need to put a large quantity of apples to good use.

Thanks, I appreciate the help.

-Kemper

Views: 61

Tags: apples, apricots, food, foods, fruit, local, trees

Comment by Oliver on July 14, 2008 at 8:23am
Kemper, this is a wonderful idea and I wish you all the best. As a tax geek, though, I think I have to take issue with one statement you made here.

Just think, once my 501(3)c status gets back I can supply anyone who allows me to harvest a tax deduction receipt for the market value of their food donation.

The reason why is pretty technical, but if someone donated food from their backyard harvest, I'm pretty sure that the IRS rules would only allow her to deduct the cost of that item, not its fair market value. And that cost probably approaches zero.
Comment by Kemper Barkhurst on July 14, 2008 at 9:52am
Thanks for feedback. I appreciate it. They have this following worksheet for "Donations of Food Inventory" found in the lovely Publication 526.

1. Enter fair market value of food donated _______
2. Enter basis of the donated food _______
3. Subtract line 2 from line 1. If the result is less than
zero, skip lines 4 through 6 and enter the amount from
line 1 on line 7 _______
4. Enter one-half of line 3 _______
5. Subtract line 4 from line 1 _______
6. Multiply line 2 by 2.0 _______
7. Compare line 5 and line 6.
Enter the smaller amount _______
8. Enter 10% of your total net income for the year
from all trades or businesses from which food inventory
was donated _______
9. Compare line 7 and line 8. Enter the smaller amount.
This is your charitable contribution deduction for the
food. _______

Now I couldn't find their "separate worksheet instructions" but would appreciate anyone that can help explain what step 2 means. I would also appreciate any references to a good accountant with experience with charitable organizations.
Comment by Oliver on July 14, 2008 at 11:26am
This whole thing is the best argument for the flat tax I've ever seen!!!
Comment by Jessie on July 14, 2008 at 11:42am
Oliver of course meant the Fair Tax, abolishing the IRS... ;)
Comment by Kemper Barkhurst on July 14, 2008 at 5:53pm
The other group would be the Free Fruit For All Project by Ethan. There was another urban fruit map project by sustainability students at UNM. That map of the Nob Hill area has since gone offline. I would like to revive a map using the Google Maps API when I have time. It should be in the spirit of the Fallen Fruit Project and be the location of food in public spaces or overhanging public streets. There's one for Santa Fe already.
Comment by Ethan on July 14, 2008 at 10:07pm
Free for All Fruit ABQ is the other group harvesting the city's fruit. We have started mapping fruit trees with Google, and we're making jams + drying fruit on a small scale. We also host community potlucks / group meetings that will generally be the first + third Saturdays of every month, where we've had some of the best food & fruit (first mullberries, now apricots) pies ever!! Stay tuned for the next potluck -- it might be this coming Saturday July 19th but I'll let y'all know ASAP. Finally, folks can get involved + receive announcements through our Googlegroup: http://groups.google.com/group/freeforallfruitabq ... Happy harvesting -- fortunately Albuquerque seems to truly have enough fruit for all of us!

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