We are identifying and mapping existing fruit trees, to make sure London’s fruit does not go to waste. Fruit grown in the city tastes great in preserves, cakes and juices, as well as straight off the tree - so why not eat it, rather than watch it turn into waste? (Obviously nature also benefits from this windfall, but there's enough to go round!).
Harvesting existing trees in the city gets fruit directly to inner urban areas, where it is desperately needed, as Londoners living in poorer areas are less likely to eat a healthy diet than Londoners living in wealthier areas. It also helps reduce our reliance on imported fruit - at the moment, 70% of apples eaten in the UK were imported. The situation is worse still for pears and plums. And, importantly, it's loads of fun and a great way of bringing people together!
We worked with a few folk from Transition Town Stoke Newington in Autumn 2010, to help set up Hackney Harvest and harvested and redistributed approximately 400 kg of fruit. Check out some pictures here.
This year, we extended our activities south of the river and set up Incredible Edible Lambeth to harvest fruit around Lambeth. We had our biggest harvest yet of over one tonne of produce - yes folks that's a whole lot of fruit!
Hackney Harvest was founded with the help of the London Orchard Project to map and harvest existing urban fruit trees. Without them we would never have got off the ground. A huge thank you to The London Orchard Project for their enthusiasm, encouragement and invaluable organisational support. Cath, Hackney, Autumn 2010