Village Harvesting

Village Harvesting

Each year since 2015 we have been Village Harvesting in order to prevent a natural supply of fruit go to waste.

It involved finding residents who had fruit trees with fruit on that they were willing to share. For some this was because they had more fruit than they could handle and for others there was an abundance of hard to reach fruit which usually wasted on the tree or became damaged as windfalls.

Picking

Over various weekends members of Sustainable Wheatley go to these gardens and pick the fruit using apple pickers, ladders and their own hands. In 2017 we visited 15 Wheatley gardens with over 20 trees picked and 1.2 tonnes of fruit harvested. Much of this was given away but what we had left we turned into juice on our Apple Day, together with a further 112 kg brought along by residents and made 250 bottles of apple juice. Thanks to everyone who made this possible!

That's Oxfordshire recently came to speak with Sustainable Wheatley to film us talking about our village harvesting project and the good this is doing for the local community.

Distributing

Once we have gathered all this fruit that would otherwise go to waste we set about giving it away. Firstly we make it available to villagers (and visitors) by making boxes available outside Cornfield Bakery and Ochre Cafe (thanks to both for their help) so people can help themselves to the delicious fruit!

Other fruit recipients include the Triangle Nursing home, John Watson school and Nursery, Wheatley Primary school and Stanton St John WI.

Juicing

Even though the villagers, local businesses, schools and other organisations take lots we still have loads left so as a group we borrow an apple press and pasteuriser to turn the rest into wonderful Wheatley apple juice. We do this outside The Merry Bells Village Hall one Saturday in October so that people can also bring along their own apples for juicing

Do you know anyone who has apple trees with surplus or hard to reach fruit? Would they be willing to let us harvest their fruit to make into juice or for distributing to others?

Do you know anyone who has apple trees with surplus or hard to reach fruit? Would they be willing to let us harvest their fruit to make into juice or for distributing to others?

Are you willing to help pick village fruit trees?

Please contact us and let us know.