Forgotten fruit

A casual walk around Bishopston, peeking into gardens, reveals an abundance of fruit trees. If it’s Autumn there’s lots of fruit that is not picked. Reasons are many – homeowner’s advancing years, trees too big, even a dislike of apples!

There are several projects elsewhere for harvesting this unwanted bounty and putting it to good use.  A sample survey done by Sustainable Bishopston last year confirmed the potential to replicate locally so our Secretary Ian wrote a couple of articles for Bishopston Matters offering to pick unwanted fruit and pass on to a local cider making family.

Responses came from as far a field as Stoke Bishop and the Lockleaze borders! Ian assisted by Graham, and on a couple of occasions Rupert and Graham’s wife Jen, picked large quantities of apples, some pears and a few quinces. These were delivered by barrow, bin and box to Egerton Road for cider making.

A garden in Horfield yielded some magnificent Howgate Wonder apples (British record 3lb 4oz) and some equally gargantuan pears. Berkeley Road revealed a 1970’s Golden Wonder that tasted nothing like the supermarket version today, some fine Bramleys, as well as quinces that have been turned into both jelly and Membrillo. So where next?

Well I’m looking forward to a glass of cider or two, as are tree-owners.  We could develop this into a project along the lines of Abundance in Sheffield. As well as cider making, fruit could be distributed around the neighbourhood, offered to schools, sold to raise funds etc.

If you are interested in developing this idea and/or being a fruit collector further please get in touch via fruit@sustainablebishopston.org.uk
There are sources of funding we could apply for to develop a project that could be replicated across the City.

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