Boise made website fights off food waste by connecting backyard gardeners with harvesters

BOISE, Idaho - Fresh fruits and vegetables hand-picked from a garden can be delicious, but, sometimes, they end up rotting on the vine. A new website created by a Boise High School teacher and his wife hopes to grow a community that creates less waste.

“Backyard food waste is one of those things we don’t often think about, don’t often realize that plants produce so much,” said Salah Elkatanani, co-creator of treasurevalleyharvest.com.

Treasurevalleyharvest.com connects people who have extra and unused fruits and veggies in their backyard with those who are willing to harvest. People who have plenty to share can fill out a simple form on the website to let others know what they have and how much, while those looking to harvest can see a list of what’s out there and connect with growers. The idea came to the couple when they saw an unused apricot tree.

“I saw someone and knocked on their door and said, 'Hey do you mind sharing and they were fantastic and shared some with me?', and I thought why not kind of make this available to more people,” said Elizabeth Elkatanani co-creator of treasurevalleyharvest.com.

The creators of the sharing service hope to, one day, take the site beyond the Treasure Valley and explore working with food banks. In the meantime, they are working to expand their community. You can even print off flyers and door hangers on their website to let others know about the harvest.

“So, if you happen to see a neighbor whose produce is not being harvested, it would be kind of wonderful to knock on their door and give them a flyer and say hey share the harvest,” said Salah. 

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