Manhattan Beach Cub Scouts Harvest, Donate FruitMar 28, 2021 04:05PM ● By Jeanne Fratello
A Manhattan Beach Cub Scout troop was able to donate a total of 80 pounds of fresh lemons to a food pantry this weekend, after picking it from local trees.
Manhattan Beach Cub Scout Den #9, Troop 713, helped two Tree Section neighbors cull their bumper crop of lemons on Friday. Using a fruit picker and a small ladder, the boys were able to pick more than a wagonful of lemons.
They donated their pickings to the food pantry at Project Needs in Redondo Beach.
Troop leader Eugene Grayver called the project "a very successful lemon picking expedition."
"The boys picked the lemons, carried them back, washed them, packed them, and then they were ready for delivery to Project Needs," Grayver told DigMB.
The third-grade boys, almost all age 9, included pack members Adrian, Anish, Corbin, Gabe, Lucas, Noah, Sander, Straton, and Zayaan.
Making 'Lemons Out of Lemonade'
John Holland, a Tree Section neighbor who volunteered his prolific lemon tree, said that he was glad the boys were able to use lemons from his prolific tree for a good cause.
"We certainly have more lemons than we can use," said Holland, who encourages neighbors to grab a few as they pass by. "It relieved me from having to watch them rot and drop off in my garden."
Tree Section neighbor Janet Jones also said she was happy to volunteer her lemon tree for the project. Her boys, now grown, went through the Boy Scout program, and the lemon tree has special meaning to her as a mother, she told DigMB.
When her boys were ages 7 and 10, their father left, Jones said, leaving her a single mom. For Mother's Day that year, she told her sons that she had her eye on a little 12-inch lemon tree. So the boys got it for her and together they planted it in the yard. "I told [my sons], 'We have been given lemons, but I promise you that I will give you lemonade,'" she said.
The tree has since flourished, and now every time her sons, now ages 31 and 28, come to visit, she gives them a lemon.
Jones said she was thrilled to be a part of the Cub Scout troop's project and to help provide lemons that would go to a good cause.
"You could not ask for a story that to me [better] represents everything good about our community," she said. "I was so happy to be part of it."
And as one of the Cub Scouts left, he handed Jones two lemons. "These are for your boys," he told her.