gill moore photography

Harvest time – The Abundance Scheme : a cracking idea.

abundance_manc

abundance_apples

I like simple ideas, I like good ideas, I like even more people who follow through on simple good ideas. “The Abundance Scheme” originated in Sheffield in 2007, it sounds like a great idea and below is a concise explanation detailing what it is all about:

    “Abundance is a project to harvest the seasonal glut of local fruit like apples, pear and plums. Each year hundreds of fruit trees go unpicked either because people don’t notice them, may not be physically able to harvest them or there are just too many fruits at one time. Abundance is a team of volunteers who have been helping harvest city fruit and redistributing the surplus to the community on a non-profit basis”

In Sheffield they use a mobile fruit unit to distribute anything surplus for free and it isn’t just limited to newly picked fruit, it can also be in the form of jam, pickles or vitamin packed fresh juices.

The Sheffield Scheme proved so successful it has now sprouted an offshoot in Manchester called Abundance Manchester. Over the last month or so a group of volunteers have been collecting boxes and boxes of Mancunian fruits, mostly apples and pears by the looks of the pictures on their site but I can only applaud what seems like a cracking effort.

People contacted the organisers from sites around the region, many around the borders of the River Mersey including Chorlton, Didsbury and Stockport. Volunteers then arrived with picking gear and bike trailers to transport the goods to needy groups around the region. Some lucky recipients include The Early Years Nursery School in Didsbury, the Red Cross Destitution Project based in Harpurhey and Cornerstone in Moss Side.

If you have (or you can recommend) a good site which has an abundance of food then you can log the details onto the Abundance Manchester website. It could be anything from an allotment or an old fruiting tree in your own garden. It has been a bumper year for many harvests, so even one tree can yield a surprising amount of goodies. I hope the scheme goes from strength to strength.

12 Nov 2008.  Just spotted the River Cottage (Channel Four TV programme) has picked up on this scheme there is a nice piece on their website if you follow this link.

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2 Responses to “Harvest time – The Abundance Scheme : a cracking idea.”


  1. 1 Lynne Harling

    Hi there, briiliant scheme! Do you need any admin volunteers in sheffield? I’m at home at the moment fighting a long term illness but my intellectual and organisational capacities are pretty sharp and I really would welcome an opportunity to offer as much support as possible to this (or related schemes). I have a redearch background but can turn my hand to most things. I can get out and about in the car every week in three – so please do let me know if I can help out.
    Also – are there any ‘land share’ scemes in The Shaffield area – -for people to share growing spaces in gardens or allotmets?
    Regards, Lynne Harling

  2. 2 gill moore

    Hi Lynne,
    Thanks for getting in touch and I am really glad you found the info on the Abundance Project of interest. I can forward your details onto the people involved with the Sheffield scheme (but I will wait for the Ok from you on that) or you might want to contact them yourself. Here are the details :

    email them at : grow@growsheffield.com
    write to them at : “The Abundance Scheme”, the Old Junior School, Southview Road, Sheffield, S7 1DB.
    telephone them : 0114 258 0784
    website : http://www.growsheffield.com

    I am sure they will be delighted to accept your very kind offer of help. Hopefully they can also answer your query on sharing land space. I’d love to hear how things progress if you get time and don’t mind dropping me a line.

    Best of Luck, Gill :-)

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