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Abundance on Tour!

Two Abundance Manchester co-ordinators have recently returned from three weeks of cycling and food foraging with the Ecotopia Biketour.  This annual DIY bike tour  visits sustainable communities, squats and action camps along the route. This year’s theme was Degrowth, the concept of downscalling production and consumption to live within our ecological means in a sustainable and socially just way.

During our time on tour in France and Italy, we picked an abundance of fruit along the way to feed to the group, including grapes, plums, figs, apples and pears.  We also found pomegranites but unfortunately they were not yet ripe! Food reclaimed from  supermarket bins was also a welcome and regular addition to our diets.

 

After cycling with an international community on-the-move for three weeks, we have plenty of inspiration to inject into the fruit picking season here in Manchester!

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Today, on the first fruit picking session of the year, we harvested unbelievably perfect red apples from a tiny tree, along with pears, cooking apples and rhubard.

The weather was sunny, the fruit was ripe and we even got cups of tea! The produce will go to The Destitution Project for destitute asylum seekers and Cornerstone, which provides meals for homeless people. Thanks to everyone involved in the picking and the home owners for sharing their fruit with us!

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Our first weekend picking session will be on Sunday 2nd September at 2pm. To take part in fruit picking, distributing or orchard activities please sign up to our email list by emailing abundancemanchester@yahoo.co.uk, that’s how we let people know what’s going on and how to get involved.

A small group also meets regularly to plan activities, discuss progress, and distribute tasks. This is usually a core group of about 6 people, and we are always keen to get a few more people involved. Next meeting 7pm, Wed 29th August. Our meetings are open to anyone who’d like to get more involved or just wants to find out more about what we’re doing.  The meeting will be at the Work for Change offices in Hulme, M15 5RF, in the Yellowbricks (same building as Kim by the Sea).  Facing Kims, head to your left to the end of that building and turn right around the corner onto Geoge Parr Road. The entrance to the offices is a red door on your right about halfway along the building. If no-one’s there to let you in, buzz the buzzer. We’ll probably have a drink round the corner afterwards at Kims.

All Welcome!

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We’ve made a link with a college in Reddish, Stockport, who have a school farm. Over the summer holidays the produce isn’t being used, and were delighted to link up with us and make sure the produce is used. Early in August we harvested about 6 bin bags full of crisp mixed salad leaves – including rocket, lettuce, mustard and mizuna! An expensive product to buy in the shops, it was very gladly received (just an hour or two after harvesting) by 3 Stockport and 3 Manchester projects. We’re going again on Wednesday 15th August.

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Who We Are

A mature garden fruit tree produces more than the average family can eat. And at the same time there are lots of people in our city not able to access fresh food.

Abundance Manchester is a voluntary project which picks surplus or unwanted fruit from gardens and public trees around South Manchester and distributes it to local groups and communities who can use it. We also collect and distribute surplus vegetables from allotments. Scroll down for our latest news and a blog of our activities since we were set up in 2008.

To get in touch please email abundancemanchester@yahoo.co.uk

Watch the clip here from BBC’s North West Tonight programme to find out more about what we do.

Abundance Manchester also strongly supports other groups and campaigns which promote sustainable, local and organic food, and see ourselves as part of the movement for Food Sovereignty. This approach calls for a localised, ecological and democratic food system, and puts the people who produce, distribute and consume food at the centre of decisions on food systems and policies, rather than the demands of markets and corporations that have come to dominate the global food system.

We are part of a growing network of  fruit harvesting groups, for a list of others around the country see the Abundance Network website.

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Making Local Fruit Work

Making Local Fruit Work

28 January 2012, Todmorden

Abundance Manchester attended this fantastic event meeting and sharing ideas with loads of other like-minded projects involved in everything from co-operatively produced cider to Community Supported Orchards.  We also had a look round some of the growing sites of Incredible Edible Todmorden. Inspiring stuff! Thanks to Making Local Food Work for running the event.

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Want to set up your own local Abundance group? Click on the links below to help you do this! The beginnings of a project can be as simple as arranging a few fruit pickings or linking up a grower of surplus food with a community group that can make use of it… From there it can be as big or small as you/your group wants it to be!!

Abundance Manchester toolkit

Abundance Health & Safety Policy and Risk Assessment

Abundance Manchester Child Protection Policy

- Watch the clip here from BBC’s North West Tonight programme about Abundance Manchester.

- Listen here to Abundance Manchester’s Radio 6 interview in August 2011.

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