Dear Eastsider: How to prepare for the avocado harvest

A new Echo Park resident named Erin is faced with the bounty and burden of  collecting the harvest from a pair of avocado trees on her property.  She’s asking for help before those avocados start hitting the ground:

“I moved to Echo Park about 6 months ago, and now have two huge avocado trees (Hass, I believe) fruiting on the property. I would like to harvest and share the avocados, but do not have any experience or a fruit picker. Are there any toolshare groups or organizations for harvesting local fruits in exchange for produce? It would be a shame to let this bounty go to waste!”

The Eastsider has heard that some members of the Echo Park Time Bank have been able to find neighbors willing to pick fruit trees in return for other services.  Any other suggestions?

Photo by Cayobo/Flickr


  1. Erin, you might want to try Forage in Silverlake. It’s a restaurant that accept locally grown produce from the community. If it’s good, they will take it off your hands and create a dish with it. I believe they will give you food or a dining credit in exchange. I hear its a really great place: http://www.foragela.com/?view=forage Also, i’d be more than happy to come and take a couple off your hands 😉

  2. For tools, you can try Neighborgoods (http://neighborgoods.net/) which connects neighbors and friends with each other to enable them to share tools, appliances, whatever.

    That doesn’t help with the experience issue, nor with sharing them, but it would make it easier to do both of those things.

    If that doesn’t work for you, it might be worth investing in some harvesting tools since the trees aren’t going to stop bearing fruit after this season.

  3. FOOD FORWARD is an all volunteer grassroots group of Angelenos who care about reconnecting to our food system and making change around urban hunger.

    We convene at properties we have been invited to and glean the excess fruit on their trees, donating 100% to local food pantries.

    Our current receiving partners are SOVA Community Food and Resource Program, a program of Jewish Family Services, and MEND POVERTY. Combined, they distribute the food we glean to over 30,000 clients a month across Southern California.

  4. Hey! Thanks so much for the ideas, they are all fantastic. Luckily I seem to have two weeks to suss out the sitch before picking. I will def. look at all of these resources! Keep the ideas coming 🙂

  5. http://www.fallenfruit.org/
    harvesting fruit around the city is their specialty. maybe they will be able to direct you to somewhere.

  6. Do you have any ready to harvest now?
    On Sat. July 31 from 6-8PM there’s a garden swap at Milagro Allegro community garden (behind the Highland Theater at Figueroa and Ave. 56 in Highland Park) where you can swap whatever you have. Also you can swap for tools, seeds, plants. compost, etc..

  7. Check out NeighborGoods.net. You can find someone there who would like to swap useful items with you–like fruit pickers. Good luck!

  8. Hi Erin,

    I have a fruit picker (basket attached to the top of a 10-12 ft pole) which I’m happy to loan you. I recently used it to rescue a hummingbird that was trapped in the upper reaches of a skylight in my home, so it would be happy to be used for avocados again!

  9. I made a picker from a paint extension pole and a tomato can- drill a 1/2″ hole near bottom of can for the threaded paint pole, (fix on the inside with a bolt that fits and pad the can), and cut a narrow channel to fit around the stems in the opposite side of the can with tin snips. Works great.

    OUR problem- we’ve harvested all the avos from the lower half of our overgrown tree. Top still has a couple hundred, but it’s like 3 1/2 stories up, too steep to climb high enough for the picker.

    Any suggestions?

  10. I say get in the kitchen women and make me some finger lickin good guacamole.

  11. HI Sandy! I would love to borrow your picker in exchange for some of the harvest. I have limequats I can give you too. Email me when you get a chance at erin@azaleainteractive.com–that would be awesome!

    🙂 Erin

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