Even though the dictionary doesn’t define it as such, gleaning citrus means removing-all-the-citrus-from-a-tree – fast! As you can see if you drive anywhere in Sun City, handling the oranges, lemons and grapefruit on our local trees can be a large, and expensive, venture.
In the past, the Garden Club of Sun City has gleaned trees for Sun City residents for a nominal fee and donated it to various food banks. (Many landscape maintenance workers charge anywhere from $40-$100 per tree!) In the past 13 years, our gleaners have collected and donated 3.5 million pounds of citrus.
Recently, however, restrictions have been placed on citrus harvesting in Arizona because of the new Arizona Department of Agriculture guidelines. Many donation centers no longer accept large quantities of citrus. Even so, our gleaners have been busy picking and donating fruit in a responsible way as required by law and the food banks.
Those people interested in joining this happy crew should contact the Garden Club of Sun City office at 623-875-5921.