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  harvesting team ready for action - Autumn 2010

Harvesting video. Kensal to Kilburn Fruit harvesters (our neighbouring fruit harvesting group) feature in an award winning video. (Jonathan Goldberg, one of the harvesters won environmental photographer of the year, awarded last Tuesday at the Royal Geographical Society). 

See the film here

Pruning started of members fruit trees (apples and pears; plums are done in April to July).

Harvesting (2016 season)

Our fruit harvesting group have this year picked 500 kg of plums, pears and apples this season in eight enjoyable sessions (More than last year but less than record crop of 2011). After some for owners and pickers we have donated the fruit to Ashford Place, Anson school and Pakistan Community Centre.

2011 season. Apples from Mapesbury gardens found their way into the freshly-pressed apple juice enjoyed by visitors to the recent Queens Park Day. In all, a quarter of a ton of apples were peeled, chopped and processed by helpers from the Transition Kensal to Kilburn group, including David Young (pictured right). (see new eco-minded group, Transition,WillesdenThe press attracted a stream of fascinated onlookers and by the end of the afternoon, had produced an incredible 450 glasses of juice. During the late summer and autumn the Mapesbury Fruit Harvesters picked over 1000 kilos of unwanted apples, plums and pears, which  also went to local schools, community cafes and Ashford Place.

The record pick was 156 kilos from an apple tree in St Gabriels Rd.

Pictured below right are some of the youngest helpers from the St Gabriel's pick, Charlie Bliss and Lola Evans,  who worked hard at grading the pears.

If you want to get involved, watch out for the fruit harvesting stand at the 2012 AGM at St Gabriels, and do ask around to see if any friends would like to join. Picks last  between one and a half to two hours, and are a great way to meet neighbours. You’re also very welcome to take some fruit at the end of each session. 

Background:

In Autumn 2009 MapRA member Michael Stuart organised volunteers to pick apples for owners who were unable to pick their own, and shared the proceeds between the owner, volunteers, and local schools.  He saw it would be helpful if people learned to prune their own and neighbours’ trees in order to increase the health and yield of some of the old trees. So, with Brent’s help and MapRA support, he set up pruning training in the surrounding area. Several enthusiastic Mapesbury residents took part and are extending the scheme in our area.

Autumn 2010 the scheme really got under way in Mapesbury, and more than 740 kg of apples, pears and plums that would otherwise have been wasted were picked and distributed. (After the owners took what they wanted, some went to the pickers but most went to various outlets including Ashford Place, which turned some into apple pies and toffee apples and sold them to raise money for the Pakistan Flood Appeal.) In 2011 we did even better, picking over 1000kg of fruit.

Many thanks to all involved, and to the garden owners who are so generously letting us in to pick.

If you have more fruit than you need, or want to get involved in the picking (which is great fun), email contact or Mapesharvesters@hotmail.co.uk

To keep up with progress dip into sandra's blog. See what other London groups are doing.

 

Apple tree on W Green station

Tube passengers at Willesden Green may have noticed the arrival of a young espaliered apple tree on the north-bound Metropolitan line platform.  It was planted there by Michael Stuart of the Transition Town Movement, which hopes to inspire people to get digging in urban gardens. (Earlier this year they persuaded TFL to let them create an allotment in four neglected raised beds at Kilburn Tube station.)  The new tree seems to be thriving against the brick wall, so there may be bumper crops in the future.

 

see new eco-minded group, Transition Willesden.