In response to complaints that neglected fruit trees on some Te Moana Road properties were attracting rodents, our group developed a ‘Fruit Rescue’ service. The aim was to distribute unwanted fruit and nuts throughout our community. We were not so much driven by charity as by waste reduction and lowering food miles. ‘Donors’ would be given preserves or tree-pruning in exchange for produce.
As we began to publicise the service, we discovered a food rescue charity called Community Fruit. Community Fruit is based is Wellington, but takes donations and gleans unwanted produce from backyards and orchards in Kāpiti. Most of what is rescued is distributed through Kaibosh or local foodbanks.
It didn’t make sense for two groups to be operating in the same space. We had a series of discussions about working together. In the end, we (at Waimeha Lagoon) agreed to help promote Community Fruit and provide volunteers to harvest unwanted produce – as required – in our area. Last weekend we were picking in Peka Peka. We have distributed flyers, and are working with local mowing contractors to target households with neglected trees. We are also in touch with the Council’s Environmental Health officers who are keen to engage with residents and Community Fruit if similar complaints arise in the future.