Fruit Harvest Project

Welcome to the Fruit Harvest Project!

The Fruit Harvest Project is currently dormant and we no longer have the apple press.

What is the Fruit Harvest Project?

The aim of this project was to create a network of active members of the community to ensure fruit was not wasted and could be shared. Fruit tree owners with fruit gluts could post an item to the bulletin to get volunteers to harvest their fruit. They could also borrow an apple press and crusher, and a fruit picker. Members of the community could look for wild fruit to pick and volunteer to collect a fruit glut.

The project came to an end, due to problems of scale. In short there was too much fruit and not enough mechanisms to distribute it! This project could be revived to work on a small, community-managed scale.

What did the Fruit Harvest Project achieve?

Borrow an apple press and crusher – a lovely way to quickly process a fruit glut! In addition to the apple press, you’ll need buckets, chopping boards and knives, bottles or plastic containers and a few willing hands to make it all happen. Transition Cambridge used an apple press, and a crusher (to chop the apples up before putting them in the press). The press was a 9-litre Vigo Press – you can see more info and pictures of the press and ‘classic crusher’ on the Vigo website. Trumpington Community Orchard also has an apple press available to borrow. £20 returnable deposit and donation requested e.g. £10 for a weekend.

Borrow a fruit picker – Transition Cambridge has a claw basket fruit picker on a 1.5m pole. It’s currently in the CB4 area. Please contact Jacky to arrange borrowing.

Transition Bulletin – Fruit tree owners could post a community news item to the Transition Bulletin here – it appeared in the Fortnightly update, which reaches around 2000 people in and around Cambridge. Posters were asked to include a contact email (protected so that it didn’t attract spam!).

More Context and History

Cambridge Fruit Map.: a map that identifies areas of wild fruit around Cambridge, which is available for picking. Please remember to ask permission of land owners or park wardens before you pick!

Online Resource for Fruit Identification.

Apples and Orchards: advice on orchard matters from growing and pruning to local varieties.

Simon's Cider: Simon’s Cider is an organisation that will take excess fruit and give back a proportion of juice or cider

To find out more contact Jacky

the story of Fruit Harvest

This project thought big about reducing waste fruit...

...and ended up with more apples than could be eaten!

If you would like to start a fruit collection group you should check out the Fruit Share seed project!

But for now we'll leave you with this lovely recipe for apple chutney (for those leftover apples!)

  • 225g onions, chopped
  • 900g apples, cored and chopped
  • 110g sultanas, raisins or chopped dates
  • 15g each of ground coriander, paprika, mixed spice and salt
  • 340g granulated sugar
  • 425ml malt vinegar

Put all the ingredients into a preserving pan and slowly bring to the boil until all the sugar has dissolved.

Simmer for 1.5-2 hours, sitting from time to time to stop the chutney sticking.

When it is very thick and you can draw a wooden spoon across the base of the pan so that it leaves a channel behind it that does not immediately fill with liquid, the chutney is ready.

Turn into sterilised jars, seal and cool.

Store in a cool, dark cupboard for two to three months before eating

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