Porirua goodwill ripe for picking
Julie Harris wants to pick your fruit.
The Tawa woman has volunteered as local co-ordinator for Community Fruit Harvesting, a group set up to share produce that would otherwise rot on the ground.
To kick-start activity, Ms Harris is calling for people with unpicked fruit trees to get in touch so the charity can help the hungry.
Ms Harris announced her involvement with the scheme last week, just as national media were paying close attention to child poverty and the inability of many families to provide breakfast and lunches for their kids.
She told Kapi-Mana News it was eye-opening how many Kiwis were struggling to make ends meet.
‘‘It’s penetrating into the middle classes.’’
Although the fruit harvesting scheme has a narrow field of focus, Ms Harris hopes it can play its part.
‘‘I am dismayed at the child poverty issues occurring in this country, so I wanted to do something that I felt I could make a difference.’’
Community Fruit North Wellington will cover Johnsonville, Tawa, Porirua and the Kapiti Coast, extending the reach of the existing Wellington operation.
“There is so much untapped opportunity in this area, with many old houses with fruit trees in their gardens,” says Ms Harris.
Although most fruit is not ready to pick until the autumn months, Ms Harris wanted to establish a database of residents with fruit trees, happy to contribute.
Everyone wins from the initiative, she says. The tree owners don’t have rotting fruit in their garden; those in need receive a helping hand, and volunteers find it satisfying to work with like-minded people to help reduce poverty.
“Anyone who is happy to don a set of gloves, pick fruit or climb a ladder is welcome.
‘‘I also welcome volunteers happy to take a bag of fruit [and] add value to it by making delicious jam or chutney, and then get those homemade goodies into fruit boxes.”
Community Fruit North Wellington is also seeking donations of sugar, jars, boxes, crates, large bags, and offers of storage space.
People in north Wellington and Porirua with a fruit tree available for picking next season or who want to volunteer can email Julie Harris on pickfruitnthwellington@ gmail.com.
Crunch time: Nathan Marshall helps with picking for the Community Fruit Harvesting scheme. Local coordinator Julie Harris hopes to get plenty of Porirua and Tawa families signed up for the next picking season.