Friday, December 2, 2011

Save the world: Share your excess fruit.

Sharing the World's hottest chilli, the Habanero chilli gave us a lot of LOLs.

My friends Uncle C and C shared everything they grew in their beautiful house in Auckland. He even bagged them and delivered them.

So often, when I walk around the neighbourhood, I see trees laden with fruits, and the ground with fallen rotton fruits. My heart aches because I grew up in a culture in Borneo where we shared our fruits. When I was living at the Nanyang University in Singapore, I was the secretary of the gardening club. I grew veg and flowers, and had excess. Times I even grew plants I couldn't use. I was going round the neighbourhood giving away my crops.

The worst was one summer in Australia. There was a glut of yummy mangoes. I could be in heaven if I had a couple of tree. People were throwing the mangoes into the wheelie bins and the council was threatening to fine them because the mangoes made the bins very heavy, and the rubbish collectors were complaining.

My school had a Crops for Christchurch when we had the earthquake. Teachers Nicole and Keren organised a Friday sale and invited students to bring their fruits and vegs in March this year. I love you, Nicole and Keren.

Today, I found up about this new charity, I have signed up to help pick the fruits and write for them.
Fruit trees can offer an embarrassment of riches, with too much fruit ready for harvest all at once. However, an enterprising not-for-profit company provides salvation for those with too much, giving to those with too little.

The brainchild of Di Celliers, from Browns Bay in Auckland, Community Fruit Harvesting offers orchard owners and gardeners alike the opportunity to share their bounty, by picking their fruit to donate to charity.

“The purpose of this group is to facilitate the sharing of fruit from our own backyards,” says Di, “People can share their excess fruit with those that are struggling to make ends meet. We do this by inviting volunteers to register their interest in picking fruit from trees in their neighbourhoods for the elderly, disabled, or people who simply don't want the fruit from their trees.”

A portion of the fruit collected is given to the owners of the fruit trees, with the remainder donated to charities including the Auckland City Mission, SPCA and a number of food banks, either for distribution, or to raise funds for worthy causes.

communityfruitharvesting2.jpgDi says, since its inception in July, the organisation has donated at least 4000kg of fruit, and more than 400 bottles of marmalade and cordial prepared by volunteers.

The service has been embraced nationwide, with operations now also underway in Auckland Central, Christchurch, Wellington and Hamilton.

“It all started in Auckland, but as news got out, I’ve been contacted from people all over the country wanting to start similar ventures,” says Di, “I supply them with lots of information and templates, facebook logos and administration as well.”

Relying on an expanding team of volunteers, assistance is always appreciated and most definitely needed; businesses as well as individuals are welcome. Di is currently seeking assistance in the construction of a website, to better promote Community Fruit Harvesting, and transportation to permit the distribution of fruit to a larger number of charitable organisations.

Click here for more information, to register as a volunteer, or request fruit picking services. Alternatively, email Di at: .


Ginny Hartzler said...

Gosh, who would throw away beautiful mangoes like this? This is a good charity, a different kind of one. You would not have to worry that the CEO's and bosses get most of the money.

Al said...

You're making me hungry here. We can't grow much at my altitude, we're lucky to get 3 frost-free months!

diane b said...

I'm glad that someone has found away to stop the waste. Good on you for helping. A great idea.

Reader Wil said...

As far as I know people share their fruit here too. My mum did and my friends who have fruit trees in their gardens too.
You asked about the headstone of our grave. Well that was my choice. It's a Norwegian stone from a glacier. My husband and I loved Norway and went there almost every holiday. We learnt the language as well.On the churchyard there are all kind of headstones. I liked this one best.

Ensurai said...

Wonderful Ulu Limbang where my sister in law lives..over fruiting is a real problem. One year I remember she told me too late that her pumpkin harvest (more than 200 fruits) had to be left rotting because no one could help her deliver to the town..every one had a bumper crop of vegetables!! She sent 4 to me through a good guy who had to drive across two borders (Brunei/Sarawak) at Kuala Lurah and Sg. Tujuh just to reach my home...She could use the money badly!! But then as she said the transportation fees could not be covered by the sale of her bumper crop. Women can grow bumper crops but the petrol prices are destroying their enterprise. Same story for ulu folks in the Baram...To plant or not to plant?

Unknown said...

We have the same feeling with this Ann. When I went to an apple orchard and saw thousands of apple laying on the ground I wish I could get them all and send to the Philippines. I hope the owner will gather them all and feed it to the deer or dump in a pit for fertilizer or something. So much excess food so many people die of starvation.

sarawaklens said...

Sad to see so much go to waste. I do wonder though, could it be because there's fear of being sued if the recipients of donated fruits fall sick or suffer food poisoning?