About

Abundance Southfields is a community project established in 2013 in Wandsworth, South West London. The aim of the project is to connect fruit tree owners to volunteer fruit pickers, picklers, bakers and fermenters in order that all of the fantastic, largely organic fruit in the area is used instead of going onto compost heaps or, even worse, into the bin! We'd like to encourage people to maintain established fruit trees and plant new ones to enhance biodiversity across Wandsworth.

Many parts of Wandsworth still have a large number of fruit trees producing huge amounts of fruit in relatively short seasonal bursts which can be overwhelming for the owners of the trees. Even where the volume of ripening fruit is not massive, some tree owners may simply need help in harvesting fruit that is hard to reach. Abundance coordinates volunteer fruit pickers and the tree owners and supplies equipment to help pick, carry and process the fruit. Tree owners decide how much of the harvest they keep. The balance is used by the pickers, distributed or processed and sold to raise funds for the project.

Initially focussed on SW18, the project has grown with the support of residents and Wandsworth Council and is now active across the whole borough. We help with fruit trees in private gardens, school grounds and council properties and we have a healthy list of pickers to send out. If you have a tree that needs harvesting or if you know of someone who needs help to pick their fruit then please get in touch through the contact page. Similarly, if you would like to help harvest or process fruit or if you have an idea to share on how to make good use of it then please do the same.

FAQ

The Frequently Asked Questions....

From tree owners:
Q. Do I have to give all my fruit away?

A. Nope, you don't have to give us any if you just need help picking it.
Q. Can I just borrow some of your fruit picking equipment?
A. Probably. Depends on whether we are using it and how nicely you ask.
Q. Will a bunch of fruit-obsessed strangers turn up and trample my garden?
A. Volunteer fruit pickers are generally quite pleasant people who respect your flowerbeds.

From fruit pickers:
Q. How can I make sure that I am told about a harvest that is being arranged?

A. Sign up HERE and make sure we have your phone number. We'll email or call when there's work to be done.
Q. Will I be first in line for some fruit if I help pick?
A. You'll be just behind the fruit tree owner.
Q. How can I help arrange more fruit picking in the area?
A. Spread the word about the Abundance project. Talk to tree owners, residents associations, school bodies and friends. If you'd like some flyers to pop through letterboxes just email us and you'll get some in the mail.

Ideas

Here are a few ideas and 'how to' guides we have tried out.

Make your own apple cider vinegar.

You don't need much to do this. A few apples (or even left over cores and peels), some sugar, water, a big jar....and time. Just DO NOT seal the jar during the process!! Recipe and guide thanks to Tales Of a Kitchen

Make some pear or apple cider.

This is a good way to preserve a lot of fruit for consumption over the months ahead. It is how we deal with windfalls, bruised fruit and the bulk of excess harvest. First off, assuming you are not planning oon making more than 7000 litres of the stuff, you should get a cider duty exemption from HMRC. Then you need to pulp the fruit, press the fruit, ferment the juice, bottle it and finally phone your friends to come around and test it for you. Here is a reasonable guide and step by step explanation with non state-of-the-art equipment. Abundance can lend you most of the kit required.

Anyone can make a crumble.

A couple of pears / apples / quinces and maybe some berries from the brambles found all over Wandsworth. A few minutes work with butter, sugar and flour and this is ready for the oven. Google will find you a million recipe variations.

If you have an idea or a guide for us to post here then please send it over. Jams, chutneys, jellies and pies - there is room for them all on the internet!

Contact

We would love to hear from tree owners, fruit pickers and anyone who has ideas for the project or who would like to share tree care knowledge.

The best way to get in touch and to ensure that you stay informed as part of this community project is to subscribe to the newsletter. This will save us having to add your details to our database later and your details will not be lost / mangled / forgotten about. You will not be flooded with newsletters. If you do find the newsletters unbearable, you can unsubscribe at any time! You will be able to send us a message, tell us if you are a tree owner etc when signing up.

Sign up to the Abundance Southfields newsletter  HERE

If signing up really isn't your thing (or the signup form fails to work) then send us an email at  sharing@abundancesouthfields.com.

You can also follow us on Instagram  to receive action photos and updates!

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