Windfalls and the nightmare of fruit loss

PearWindfall2012-webUsing windfalls at the end of the harvesting season is like desperately trying to save what shouldn’t have been lost in the first place.


My reflection started from a comment on Streetlife after my ‘Save the apples!’ call two days ago. Someone who contributed three kilos to the counting added: ‘Not quite sure what we’re proving here’. I have tried to find an answer.

When I published this call, I wanted to do a test. I would experiment with this Streetlife network to see how people respond. It could be effective right-away, as there is still available fruit around, and we could use the learnings earlier next year, when most of the fruit is still on the trees.

Now I think it was also like a desperate call, to remind people how much of this available resource is going to waste, how unacceptable it is to see quality fruit rot on the ground or go to the bin, how unable or unwilling we are to use it.

The reason why I am thinking like this is that I contributed to the counting myself by saving a kilo of apples somewhat ‘in extremis’, as a last resort, as I did last year with these pears:


We were also approaching the end of the harvesting season last year when I picked pears from this tree in South West London and saved as much of the windfall as I could. “Nightmare” is probably too strong a word, but do we like to see this sort image again and again year after year?

Indeed I used apples that were deteriorating in our garden, rather than the ones we had safely stored in the house… I didn’t do that consciously, it must have been the image above sticking in my head!

My view today is that we should focus on good fruit. Forget about what is being lost this year: apart from a very limited number of fruit varieties everything should have been picked by now, the 2013 autumn fruit harvesting season is over.

Hopefully we will use more of the quality fruit that grows in our gardens next year.

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