Volunteer harvesters reap ripe rewards
Community Fruit Harvest ( CFH) has again enjoyed a bumper year of harvesting surplus fruit to share with the community.
In a repeat of previous years, CFH was invited to pick apples and pears from a teaching orchard in the city, and up to 90 volunteers turned up to pick on three separate days in April and May.
Collectively, they picked over 450 boxes of fruit, which were then distributed to over 30 food banks, libraries, educational institutes, community groups and sharing tables around the region.
Cindy Duker from Plant to Plate took time out of her week to come to one of the picking days.
‘‘I had an awesome time with the Manawatu Community Harvest group picking apples and pears at a local orchard. My gardening van was full to the brim.
‘‘Most went to Palmerston North’s free store, Just Zilch. The rest went to local kindergartens and primary schools near where I live.
‘‘Longburn School’s ‘green team’ share table was heaving with fresh crunchy goodness this afternoon, and I am happy to say it all went to good homes to be enjoyed,’’ Duker said.
A highlight this year, was stopping at a friend’s house in Roslyn on the way home from the orchard with the ute overflowing with free-flow apples - we had run out boxes.
The children of the household excitedly filled bags with apples to give to passers-by, then ran to many neighbouring houses making deliveries.
It was satisfying to see the fruit being so appreciated by members of the community firsthand.
Until now, the organisation side of CFH Manawatu has been a one-man band.
To ensure the longevity of this fantastic community initiative, I’m hoping to get some assistance from other volunteers in a variety of roles.
Interested people are invited to a public meeting to discuss the kind of needs of CFH and how they could be involved.
The meeting will be held at the ENM office, 74 The Square at 5.30pm on Wednesday, July 19. All are welcome.
Email Madz at email@example.com to register your interest.
Gesandu Samarasekara, 8, was one of many volunteers who turned up to pick apples and share the bounty with the community.