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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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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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Picking over for 2011

We’ve had a great season with tonnes of apples and veg harvested and delivered to appreciative local projects. But now apple season is all but over we’ve called it a day on that side of our work. If you have surplus fruit you can always take it directly to a local hostel or community project – or even offer it to your local school. We’re now being kept busy with orchard maintenance activities at Kenworthy Community Orchard, see that page for more.

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Veg Plot Update

In the Spring of 2011 we decided to turn the plot over to fruit production rather than veg growing, and to no longer run it as a community plot. It’s a sad decision but we have had serious problems with a colony of biting ants that have invaded the site, making it an unpleasant working environment. We have been unable to get rid of these despite trying  various organic methods. For this reason we will slowly be turning the land over to lower maintenance perennial crops – mostly tree and bush fruit that requires little soil disturbance. We will manage the site as a small core group. Thank you to everyone that has participated in growing veg at the site, we hope you’ve enjoyed it and if anyone is interested in helping out with looking after the plot regularly that would be great – but we are no longer holding open plot sessions on Sundays. However the plot will continue to provide  local, organically grown produce to people who can make good use of it.

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Yes…figs!!! Last Saturday Abundance Manchester picked two trailers of delicious and juicy eating apples, plus grapes and figs all from Didsbury! These will go to the Boaz Trust which helps destitute asylum seekers (see our Food Growing section), and The Roby (Longsight) which provides freshly cooked food to people with mental wellbeing needs.

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Abundance Manchester picked lots of big and beautiful cooking apples in Chorlton last Saturday!  It turned out to be a sunny afternoon – perfect for picking.

After which, apples were delivered to Morning Star hostel for the homeless, and Cornerstone Day Centre which also provides home-cooked food to those in need.

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Our first fruit picking of the season will be this weekend, it’s plums plums plums! Meet on Saturday (7th Aug) at noon in West Didsbury near Cavendish road.  For the exact address email abeviz@hotmail.co.uk, (leave a phone number if it’s last minute)…  Or you can sign up to our mailing list to receive regular updates of where and when the pickings are by emailing; freefood-subscribe@lists.riseup.net. Hope to see you there on saturday!!

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Abundance Manchester picked a bounty of beans and beetroot on Sunday 1st August – two trailers and six panniers of donated veg from Glebelands Market Garden (Sale)!

A trailer of colourful chard, beetroot, beans, onions and courgettes were also received from Highfield Allotment (Levenshulme), and courgettes and bananas received from Glebelands and Unicorn (Chorlton).

Using our bike tr ailers, we delivered food to Cornerstone (Hulme) and the Salvation Army (city centre) which both provide meals to the homeless. Food was also directly given to destitute asylum seekers who volunteer at the Abundance Manchester plot.

It was a great way to begin August! With an array of amazing veg like this, we’re really looking forward to the fruit harvest season that will begin soon. Please get in touch if you have tree fruit you can donate, or would like to help us pick this fruit.

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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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Keen to find fruit across the city, we’ve sampled some very sweet cherries in Moss Side, South Manchester!

A variety of cherry trees in public spaces have been spotted . Whilst smaller than most supermarket-bought fruit, these cherries are delicious to eat and easy to pick as many branches are low-lying.

Why not take a closer look at the trees in your area for these little gems – hopefully the birds have a left a few for us to enjoy!

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