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Opinion : How many apples have been left unpicked on trees in Wycombe?

| October 13, 2017

This time of year is always busy for those of us lucky enough to have a garden.

There is just so much to do clearing up and tidying the garden ready for next year. Of course in the past few weeks my good self has been busy harvesting all the food that my garden has produced this year.

2017 was a very good year for apples indeed the trees in my trusty orchard were full of fruit.

A few days ago your humble servant was visiting a friends house and happened to be shown around their garden. During my guided tour my good self could not help noticing a couple of apple trees in neighbouring properties that were still full of fruit that had not been picked.

What a waste seeing all those apples going to waste. Surely someone could eat them?

I wonder how many more fruit trees have gone unpicked in Wycombe this year? Probably quite a few. Not to mention blackberries left rotting in hedgerows and the like.

We hear so much about food banks and poverty these days however the food banks are more geared up for handing food in tins with long sell by dates.

It just seem such a shame that at ‘harvest time’ there isn’t a scheme whereby volunteers can be called in by a home owner to pick the unwanted fruit on a tree to save it being wasted and give it to those in need.

If none of the voluntary organisations are prepared to handle the perishable fruit through their distribution networks why not create a scheme whereby those who are actually in need of food, namely those in food poverty, can come round and pick the fruit from the tree themselves and store it in their houses?

Apples and the like will keep for months if stored properly and surely fresh fruit is better than stuff from tins?

All it needs is a website set up so home owners who have a tree full of fruit that’s going to waste can register the tree and post details of when the fruit needs picking. Those genuinely in food poverty could register with the site and simply go round and get free food straight from the tree.

No doubt such a simple idea is too good for modern society and the health and safety brigade would jump up and down at the thought of people going anywhere near a tree without a helmet and high-visibility clothing thus nobbling my brilliant idea.

What do you think?

Updated 14th October 2017 : Since writing this blog I have been contacted by The OneCanTrust food bank who tell me that they do give away apples from the Wycombe food bank if they are given them. Apparently the food bank even has partnerships with local schools who grow for them as well as local allotmenters. There are also local organisations who solely deal with fresh food and do boxes for those who need help. At harvest time the food bank has been given and passed on potatoes, marrows and more. However it’s important people ask the food bank what is needed because they don’t want more than can be passed on before it goes off. As a charity the food bank doesn’t want to be stuck with disposal costs. The food bank also has a cold store so they can keep fruit and veg for as long as possible.

My blogs are published every Tuesday and Friday evening around 8.00pm here on the WycombeToday.com website.

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