It’s that time of year, when tree fruits are in abundance— in the orchards and street trees of Portland.

In the two blocks between my new house and the coffee shop are two apple trees with fruit rotting on the sidewalk and gutter. Even though the occasional passer-by and me have found a few good apples in the bunch, most of them are going to waste.

The Portland Fruit Tree Project collects fruit throughout the city, splitting the harvest between the volunteer pickers and organizations that feed the hungry. Katy Kolker, executive director, said that the harvest season last for another couple of months.

Neighbors can register their  trees with the non-profit, and she said it’s best to have them registered two weeks before the fruit is ready to pick. PFTP organizes the harvest parties (register here), with individuals, groups, and companies. Workshops on preserving fruit and fruit-tree management are also held by PFTP.

Whether you link with PFTP or harvest in your own neighborhood, apple cider isn’t that hard to make. You only need a glass bottle, yeast, sugar, a few tools, and— of course— plenty of apples. Here’s a tutorial.

Kitchen Share SE has all kinds of helpful food preparation equipment available to share, including a cider press, commercial juice press, and apple chopper.  Kitchen Share SE is located at the St. David of Wales Episcopal Church (2800 SE Harrison), and membership is available on a sliding scale.