Fruitshare has closed down – but there are alternatives

I’m very sad to hear that the website Fruitshare, one of the projects featured in The Armchair Activist’s Handbook, has closed down. It offered a means for people to give and receive surplus fruit and was therefore a good tool to help people eat locally and cheaply while also reducing waste. According to one of its founders, Sharon Hockenhull, there are a number of reasons behind the decision to stop the project – including the difficulty of getting funding and the time commitment it involved.

But all is not lost, fruit lovers. Here are some alternatives for swapping, sharing and sourcing fruit and (veg):

This website lets you list the fruit and vegetables you’re growing and – through a local food map – see what your neighbours are growing. Link up to share or swap.

Abundance is a network of people around the UK harvesting the glut of fruit in their local areas. The website has a list of groups in different areas, guidance on starting a group, and a downloadable handbook. At its heart, Abundance is about getting fruit to those who otherwise might not have access to it, but volunteers are rewarded with fruit themselves.

Apples for Eggs
This is a produce-swapping community – and anything you’ve grown, raised or produced yourself can be swapped (bread for eggs, for example, or jam for mint). There are currently only a couple of upcoming swap dates listed, but the group wants to expand and encourages anyone keen to run a swap to get in touch.

The London Orchard Project
By planting new community orchards around London, this project hopes to address the capital’s allotment shortfall. It is also working to identify and map London’s existing orchards, so the fruit doesn’t go to waste.

Regional swaps
Some good examples here are the Belfast Food Swop and London Swappers.