Down to Earth have launched a new project called The Fruit Exchange which aims to connect people throughout the Stroud District who have surplus fruit with businesses who can use it.
There is a lot of surplus unwanted fruit in gardens across Gloucestershire that is often wasted each year. Fruit is left to go to waste for a variety of reasons. Often people just don’t know what to do with it, or don’t have the time or ability to harvest it. With the short period in which many types of fruit are ripe, it is imperative to harvest it at the right time. Otherwise you could be left with piles of rotting apples attracting wasps, or wasted produce which rots quickly and creates a mulchy mess in your garden. The Fruit Exchange was introduced because how often and in what quantities potentially great food is wasted.
With hundreds of varieties of imported fruit and vegetables now available much of the year round, the seasons can lose their meaning. Yet the summer months in Britain bring a wide variety of fruit: gooseberries, strawberries, blackcurrants, redcurrants, raspberries, apples, figs, pears, plums, cherries, quinces, blackberries, blueberries, apricots, grapes and more. As well as reducing food miles, freshly harvested local food is the tastiest and most nutritious there is! Gloucestershire has over 100 apple varieties, yet our supermarkets don’t sell them. In fact around 90% of the fruit sold in Britain is imported, and even the dried fruit available is mostly grown and produced in China! This is not only unsustainable but unnecessary given a good dose of creative thinking and community organisation. Not only does The Fruit Exchange connect communities and make use of produce which would otherwise go to waste, it also raises the local business’s awareness of using seasonal local produce. In exchange for their produce the donor will be given a drinks voucher by the business, so the local business is supported too.
The project is looking for:
- People with surplus fruit
- Businesses who could make use of it
- Volunteers to help harvest it
The Fruit Exchange is back for the fourth year! We are looking to save more fruit (and veg and nuts) than ever this year and hope that you might be able to help in spreading the word. We are also hoping to recruit volunteer fruit wardens to help us do this. The Fruit Exchange relies on people caring about waste enough to do something about it. We can all do our bit! A fruit warden could be anyone who has a little spare time to volunteer to help us save fruit. We need fruit wardens to help us:
- Distribute posters and flyers (provided by us)
- Communicate with local pubs, cafes, restaurants and juice bars about taking part
- Keep an eye out for fruit which is going to waste and communicate with the householder about the project
- Try to enroll volunteers to help where necessary
- Help with harvesting and/or delivering fruit for those who physically can’t
If you think that you might be able to help in any way, or are able to spread the word, it would really be appreciated. For more information please contact Alexandra Sore, Coordinator at The Fruit Exchange, Down to Earth, Mobile phone 07923 244928 or Email firstname.lastname@example.org