Barnet Post

A fruitful way to tackle waste

Community harvesters are picking surplus fruit from garden trees

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By Daniella Levene  

Last year, Barnet Community Harvesters was founded to harvest apples and pears from people’s gardens that would otherwise go to waste and divert them to local charitable causes. Since we began, the community response has been incredible, and in our first harvest, we rescued just over a tonne of surplus fruit, which was then given to food banks.

Fruit harvesting is a really rewarding activity and a testament to kindness and compassion. From the generosity of residents donating their fruit, to the brilliant bunch of pickers and tree climbers helping harvest, it’s good wholesome fun. Volunteers also get

to take some of the fruits home with them. It seems like lunacy that at this time of year we buy the same old fruit varieties from the supermarkets, flown in from the other side of the world, contributing to climate change when there is an abundance of local produce.

There were also unexpected benefits of the project. We helped elderly residents and those with restricted mobility access and enjoy their fruit, and for some, especially those who were shielding, it also provided social contact. Having slipped through the side gates, we had some great chats with people hanging out of windows or at a safe distance. We also ended up providing a fruit swapping service,

apples got swapped for pears and vice versa. In addition, we can also give advice on fruit tree care and attempt to identify unknown apple varieties.

We are hoping we can do even better this year, so if you have fruit going to waste, or want to join in harvesting, please get in touch at barnetcommunity [email protected]

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