Irish Heather offers free dinner to fruit-pitting volunteers

Call it a summer twist on the Irish Heather’s popular Long Table Series. Every Wednesday from July 18 for eight weeks through September, the Gastown gastropub is putting some of its diners to work—in exchange for a free meal.

Scott Hawthorn’s Picker Shack Orchard on the Naramata bench supplies fruit to the Heather Hospitality Group and has 900 kilos of fresh cherries that need pitting for the restaurants. So they’re calling for 50 volunteers a night to gather around the 12 meter-long table to do it.

For two hours every Wednesday, starting at 7 p.m., volunteers will get busy prepping the fruit. Then at 9 p.m., they’ll be served a meal of spiced pork loin with potato salad and coleslaw. (There’s also a veggie option of fried green onion polenta with white bean and garlic puree and zucchini salad.) Supper includes a Driftwood Fat Tug IPA from Victoria.

For the next four weeks, it will be cherries on the table (and yes, you get a bag to take home). Then the work shifts to apricots, peaches, apples, and pears. These fruits are used by the restaurant for items such as a sun-dried cherry condiment, apricot chutney, and pear jam.

To volunteer, email

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