About Abundance Kingston
Each year tons of fruit go unpicked, often because the fruit is too high up or there is too much on the tree. Abundance Kingston aims to save food waste by harvesting seasonal gluts of local fruit, such as apples, pears and plums, and redistributing this surplus within the local community (nurseries, homeless shelters, individuals, etc.) all on a not-for-profit basis. Tree-owners always get the first share of the harvest, with some fruit being left for the birds, bees and insects. Bruised and damaged fruit is juiced whenever possible to save further waste.
This year produced a glut of apples, and the Abundance Project was invited into gardens and onto allotments all over Kingston, Surbiton, Long Ditton, Chessington and beyond to harvest the fruit. Toni Izard, with the help of volunteers and tree owners, picked an impressive 1174 kilos (1.174 tonnes) and saved them from going to waste. They were also donated over 40k of pears, courgettes and damsons.
All the fruit was redistributed within the community in a number of different ways, for example, local residents helped themselves to 180 kilos from large trug kindly put out daily by Surbiton Health Food Store, other beneficiaries included the WI, a hostel, the Foodbank and even the police horses at Imber Court!
Surbiton Farmers Market kindly gave us a space in August and September, enabling us to repurpose over 300k of apples, by making delicious apple juice for the refreshment of the market shoppers. We also used it as an object lesson in sustainability, stressing the importance of utilising our locally grown, organic, fresh harvest and avoiding the high carbon footprint of transport, refrigeration and plastic wrapping that supermarket fruit would entail. Passing the waste to the stall next to us, to take back to feed to their pigs completed the perfect waste-free loop. All ages joined in pressing the fruit and youngsters were amazed to learn how apple juice is made and how particularly delicious it tasted.
We are always asked if we make cider from the fruit, and for the first time this year we can say we have tried. The Lamb pub in Surbiton hosted a community cider making afternoon in September and many people helped to chop and press the apples. Consequently, 12 gallons of dry cider are currently in the making – fingers crossed it is drinkable!
The final stock of apples was taken to The Garden Cider Company, for them to make cider from, with other lucky pigs getting the pressed remains.
Thanks to all who made this possible, the volunteers for their time and the tree owners who so generously shared their crop with us. Let’s all celebrate the wonderful harvest!