How “picky” are you?

Sarah Kelzenberg

As we have done for the past eight years, the Sun Lakes Citrus Sharers will be picking surplus fruit in all Sun Lakes communities from approximately February 7 to March 9. The fruit is donated to St. Mary’s Food Bank. Right now it looks like we’ll have a bumper crop this year!

We are looking for more volunteers to help pick. If you like to be outdoors and you like to laugh, this group is for you! We pick two mornings a week: Saturdays and Mondays. If you can commit to one or both of those mornings, please contact Linda Everett at email [email protected] or call her at 480-895-8325. Please give her your name, email address, phone number and the day(s) of the week that you can pick. Last year, with almost no lemons, we picked a total of approximately 38 tons. The fruit is brought to “Citrus Central” homeowners’ garages, where the Food Bank picks it up each week. Thanks to Jim and Arlene Thrower for continuing to host our bins in their garage and to George and Christy Thomas for expanding our gathering space by adding their garage to our efforts.

We will have our 2015 Kickoff Koffee at Sisk Park on Monday, February 2 at 10:00 a.m. If you would like to pick, please put that date on your calendar and be there! If you signed up at an Open House this fall, you will be called to confirm. We are hoping to have a good turnout of last year’s and new volunteers at the Kickoff.

We pick in teams and that means we need team leaders. If you have volunteered with us before and would like to step up to this level, please let us know before the Kickoff by calling Linda (above). We will have a brief meeting after the Kickoff Koffee for captains.

Homeowners, if you were on our 2014 picking schedule, you will be getting an e-mail or call during February or March giving you a date for being picked in 2015. In the February Splash we will ask people at whose residences we have not previously picked to email or call us if they wish their fruit picked. We hope we will have enough volunteers to meet everyone’s needs.

In the meantime, for anyone with citrus trees who is interested in learning more about the subject, there will be a Citrus Clinic offered by the Maricopa County Cooperative Extension Service on Saturday, January 17 from 8:30 a.m.-noon at Greenfield Nursery, 2558 E. Lehi Road, Mesa. The Maricopa County Master Gardeners, out of ASU, have information available on citrus at their website at http://extension

Please know that we can only pick as many trees as we have volunteers to help pick. Besides pickers we could really use other volunteers: another call receiver and some quality control helpers at Citrus Central to check the fruit. Call Linda (above) if you are interested. Last year our fruit helped nearly 25,000 people. Please consider helping us feed people in need.

Hope to see lots of volunteers at the February 2 Kickoff Koffee at Sisk park at 10 a.m.!