I asked and you guys gave!
For me, this year is all about reducing waste, especially food waste. There is free food everywhere in nature. Vegetables, herbs and fruit. So much goes to waste because it is forgotten, the birds get it too quickly or people don’t even know it’s there.
In NZ this is a particularly big issue as many people are struggling to feed their families because of our extremely high food prices (we export most of our food, so our own prices skyrocket.)
I wanted to do my little bit to combat this so I am on a waste-free mission!
For my own little family, my aim is to stock my pantry with as much food as I can that we don’t already eat fresh. My garden is pumping out zucchini and tomatoes like nobody’s business, so I want to stretch out this food to last us as long as possible. Canning, fermenting and dehydrating are happening every day in the Lewis Household.
But there is only so much food I can hoard for my own family without sharing with others. This is where you guys came in.
I put a blast up on a few community pages on Facebook asking if people had any fruit trees where fruit was going to waste. Maybe it’s a forgotten tree or the abundance of fruit was just too much. Anyway, SO many people replied! I got offers for lemons, pears, apples, damson plums and berries.
Together with my glut of vegetables, I amassed a HUGE amount of fresh produce, with only one goal in mind for it: Donate it to a local food bank. Most of the fruit was in top-notch condition, and for the bird pecked and squashed fruits, I made jams and preserves. I asked ONYA NZ if they would help by donating some of their amazing reusable produce bags and they said YES. Check out their bags here. Their environmentally friendly and reycled bags allow your produce to breather and last way longer in the fridge.
The picture above is only about half of what was collected, bagged and bottled. This is all going to the local food bank.
I’m so pleased and grateful for the response of others and am so hopeful that I can continue doing this in the future. I encourage you guys to try something similar in your community! All the fruit I did collect was otherwise just going to be wasted.
We can all save some damsons in distress. 😉