Stone fruit picked for foodbanks

Jenny Brasted of Cromwell picks apricots last week for KiwiHarvest to gift to foodbanks in...
Jenny Brasted of Cromwell picks apricots last week for KiwiHarvest to gift to foodbanks in Cromwell, Wanaka and Queenstown. PHOTO: TRACIE BARRETT
The saying goes that when life hands you lemons, you should make lemonade, but for orchardist Lars Molving, the fruit in question would be apricots.

Mr Molving’s main fruit crop is cherries, but he also has 100 to 120 Nevis apricot trees, which in the past have been picked by staff from Jackson Orchards and sold at their roadside stall.

Bumper crops this year meant the apricots were not needed by Jackson’s, so Mr Molving’s wife, Felicity Pugh, looked at who might be able to take them for foodbanks.

The couple contacted the Salvation Army in Alexandra, the Cromwell Foodbank and KiwiHarvest, a logistics and distribution agency that collects food that might otherwise go to waste and delivers it to foodbanks and service agencies.

KiwiHarvest Queenstown branch manager Kayleigh Simons-Smith said Mr Molving contacted the agency saying he had a "whole bunch" of apricots that needed to be picked.

"He didn’t want the fruit to go to waste," she said.

Mrs Simons-Smith reached out to Cromwell local Pat Johnston, who is involved with both the Cromwell and Otago Farmer’s Markets, which both donate unsold product to KiwiHarvest.

Mrs Johnston put out a call for pickers on social media and to her personal networks, and gathered volunteers on the Monday holiday and again on the Tuesday.

The fruit was to be distributed in Cromwell, Wanaka and Queenstown.

tracie.barrett@thenews.co.nz

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