The streets of London may not be paved with gold, but they are lined with fruit trees. Groups all over town are gathering forces to pick fruit that would otherwise go to waste. Get involved in the harvest, or suggest trees that need pickers.
By Zoe Kamen
Now in its fourth year, the Chiswick Abundance group meets regularly in gangs of up to ten people to harvest fruit in private gardens and on the streets of west London. Apples, plums, damsons are nearly ripe for plucking and an online map points the way to the trees to visit. This year’s Abundance Fruit day, with apple pressings and jam sales, will be on October 21 at Dukes Meadows Farmers Market, W4 2RX, 10am-2pm.
www.abundancelondon.com or contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Local Transition Town groups all over the country come together to reduce carbon footprints, and this south-east London hub cut down the food miles with fruit harvesting both in their own orchards, and further afield.
com or contact email@example.com.
London Orchard Project (which plants community orchards) has teamed up with the Stoke Newington Transition Town to organise Hackney Harvest. Up to 30 people go out every fortnight in small groups, mapping fruit trees and picking.
www.hackneyharvest.com / www.thepeopleskitchen.org or contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Incredible Edible Lambeth Harvest
Spearheaded by David Blair, this group forages around Lambeth and is an offshoot of the successful Hackney Harvest.
www.incredibleediblelambeth.org or contact email@example.com.
Organiclea Vestry House Museum
Vestry Rd, Waltham Forest, E17 9NH
Organiclea is a workers’ food-growing cooperative in the Lea Valley. It has been running a scrumping project in the area since 2004. Harvests are divided between local residents and the rest is sold on a Saturday stall at the Hornbeam Café (10am-3pm) to raise money for ongoing community projects. Activities will culminate on October 13 for an Apple Day celebration at the Vestry House Museum Gardens in Walthamstow.
www.organiclea.org.uk or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
This group regularly links up with Urban Harvest and other North West London Transition groups to organise foraging trips. As well as putting their energy into mapping local foraging sites, they're in the process of developing a code of conduct for urban foraging.
www.transitionbelsize.org.uk or contact email@example.com.
Transition Town Kensal to Kilburn
Kensal Rise, Kilburn and Queens Park
Initiated by Michael Stuart in 2009, this collaboration has so far gathered over 150 members and 4 tons of fruit. Small groups go out regularly to pluck fruit from local trees, distribute it to schools and charities and make juice in public to raise awareness of waste.
www.ttkensaltokilburn.ning.com/ or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Gatherings take place in north London
An informal online network that organises regular foraging and juicing sessions in north London. Upcoming events include fruit picking and swapping in the Harringay Ladder area on October 2.
www.urbanharvest.org.uk or contact email@example.com.