In Rossland, a program to help keep bears out of town is ready to pick fruit.
The Harvest Rescue Program has been taking calls.
The program gives people who can’t use the abundant fruit on their trees a chance to have it picked or taken away so that hungry bears don’t get to it first.
“The yellow transparent apple, I guess people are calling them, are a really early apple.,” said David Klein, coordinator. “We harvested a big tree the other day, then we pressed it into juice and got around 100 litres of juice.”
Klein expects that with the fruit ripening, they are about to get very busy.
“I have a list of volunteers and call them up,” he said. “We try to get out there in a timely manner. Sometimes we get out there and they’ve already picked the tree and just have a box of apples. That makes our job easy.”
If the fruit isn’t usable, they charge a fee to get rid of the fruit.
Last year they gave it to some pig farmers down in Fruitvale, which they will be looking to set up again.
He said though that there are a lot of keen pickers in Rossland.
“A lot of people pick their fruit and use it,” he said. “So that makes my job easier.”
The picking is a couple weeks behind schedule this year, because of the late season and ripening.
Bears don’t usually let the apples ripen as much as they would like, and so they sometimes have to pick them at a less-than-ripe stage.
There will also be a Community Pressing Day on Oct. 15.
Everyone can bring their apples and a container to catch juice in. The process takes about an hour, from apple to juice and is by donation.