Today’s Solutions: May 21, 2024

Southern California’s mild climate and fertile soil make it an ideal habitat for the multitude of fruit trees that dot its landscape. Now, Santa Barbara-based Greenspot is looking to share the produce riches and promote nutritious local food with its harvesting and hosting programs. 

If you know someone with a fruit tree in their yard, they’re probably all too eager to offload some of those oranges or lemons. Greenspot harvests produce from property owners with too much on their hands and redirects this supply to local markets, food banks, and community distributors. In exchange, property owners receive resources on optimal tree health and the peace of mind that their bounty isn’t going to waste. They can also participate in Greenspot’s unique revenue sharing program. 

The company also offers a hosting program for property owners with open space to spare. Greenspot covers the cost of new fruit trees and handles planting and production management. Customers get the benefit of beautiful trees and their own homegrown fruit, but they also get the satisfaction of contributing to community nutrition and using their land for carbon-offsetting tree planting. 

Greenspot was founded in 2019 as a neighborhood-based micro-farming program with the mission to allow residents, businesses, and communities to participate in their local food systems. Taking advantage of fertile land and native trees means a more localized and greener food supply chain and reduced food waste. So far this year, they’ve collected and distributed over 700,000 pounds of fruit including citrus, avocados, and pomegranates which thrive along the central coast. 

Greenspot’s Growth and Development Director Gabe Ruzzier-Gaul explains, “In California, we have an increasing demand for housing and with that, quality nutrition. When we develop new homes, it is often at the expense of agricultural land.” 

Looking forward, the company plans to plant 1,000 fruit trees in Santa Barbara County this year and eventually expand its services into other areas of California such as the Bay Area and San Diego. 

30 percent of the American food supply goes to waste each year while 40 million people struggle with food insecurity. The problem is not supplying, but rather distribution. More localized food systems mean improved local health outcomes, reduced food waste, and more reliable supply chains. Companies like Greenspot are a great solution for optimizing the nutrition resources we have in our own backyards. 

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