The fruit trees around your home can be the basis of a new socially-distanced community tradition that benefits wildlife, too!
Fruit grown on trees, shrubs and bushes are a delicious destination for local wildlife, from bears to coyotes to raccoons and other visitors. In areas where conflict is on the rise – such as parts of British Columbia where black bears become accustomed to human-provided foods – this can lead to tragic outcomes for the wildlife, regardless of our intentions.
There are, thankfully, numerous solutions available! Here’s a few of our faves:
- Use ‘em! Many of the fruits and berries that grow on our properties are perfectly edible (though ALWAYS verify this first as some can be toxic). Pies, preserves, candied and canned are only some of the possibilities.
- Donate ‘em! Edible fruits can be gathered and donated to community programs (food banks, shelters) as well as wildlife rehabilitators who may need plenty of fresh food for their guests (and will likely be okay with a bit of bruising). Always call ahead to find out who’s accepting what!
- Traditionalize ‘em! With your family, friends or community, make a new tradition out of fruit and berry harvests. This is a wonderful way to connect with people and build bonds that can bring up your entire community, show that solutions to coexistence work, and help the animals!
Remember: in some jurisdictions, not picking up fallen fruit on your property can be against the law (local by-laws, Wildlife Act, etc.). In British Columbia this can result in an order or fine from the B.C. Conservation Officer Service as well as a fine from your local by-law department.
The Fur-Bearers want to show off all the wonderful ways communities can use fruits that, left to fall, will attract wildlife and could create human conflict with the animals. By harvesting the fruits and berries on our properties we can play a major role in reducing conflict and also benefit our communities!
Send in your FAVOURITE way to use the fruits that fall on your property and you could WIN a signed copy of John E. Marriott’s book, Tall Tales and Long Lenses! We’ll take recipes (remember we’ll be sharing them!), photos, art, stories and any other use you can think of! Send your favourite way to use these fruits to info@TheFurBearers.com and we’ll randomly select a winner on September 7, 2020. The deadline for submissions is 12:00 am PT on September 6, 2020.