Hi-tech fruit pickers help the needy

Hitachi workers and volunteers harvested 8,500 pounds of french prunes, one of the big crops of the region formerly known as “the Valley of heart’s desire”, now known as Silicon Valley, to donate to the homeless. 170 volunteers nabbed the fruit off 50 trees in Hitachi’s 322-acre corporate park that also has fruiting apricot, peach, almond, and walnut trees growing between the buildings.
“French plums in particular are a historical crop, which made Santa Clara valley famous. As far as we know, the orchard there is the largest remaining one,” said Joni Diserens, director of Village Harvest, a nonprofit group that organizes fruit harvests in the valley’s remaining orchards and backyards with fruit trees.