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Apple pressing workshop in Global Gardens

Guest Post: Orchard Cardiff – connecting communities through harvesting fruit 

Orchard Cardiff is a small volunteer-run initiative that harvests fruits from trees in people’s back gardens. Although we don’t have our own location, we always say tongue-in-cheek that the whole of Cardiff is our orchard! 

In 2022 during 20 harvests we saved over 60 crates of fruit, mostly apples and pears, which we share with community food projects, such as Oasis, Trinity Refugee Centre and Splott Community Volunteers. We also bring communities together through workshops where we create space for skill-sharing in juicing and cooking with surplus fruit. 

Although we mostly work in the fruit season (August – November), this year we have sprung up a little bit earlier and are organising a series of free, family-friendly creative workshops, raising awareness of fruit trees’ important contribution to biodiversity. Working with various artists and Alex Griffiths from West and South Wales Wildlife Trust we are celebrating and learning about our relationships with fruit trees and their place in the urban ecosystem. 

Apple harvest in September 2022

As part of Earth Hour 2023, we met with Alex and Cath Little at Railway Gardens to tell and write stories about the fruitful networks of life under the ground. Alex taught us about the wonderful and messy connections between earthworms and other creatures, fungi, soil health and us, whilst Cath helped us to write individual and collective poems. 

In April, we met in Insole Court at Beth Morris’ workshop with artist Scott Euden to create illustrated fruit tree mini sketchbooks whilst learning about what’s happening over the ground. 

Earth Hour creative writing workshop with Cath Little in Railway Gardens 

And finally on 6 May as part of the Edible Cardiff Spring Festival we’ll head to Forest Farm on a fun scavenger hunt in the orchard and learn more about fruit blossom and pretty pollinators. Later inspired by nature we will have a go at cyanotype photography with Vaida Barzdaite.  You can join us by booking your ticket here

Anyone attending the event would be able to also register a Food Cardiff pledge for joining in with a good food activity in the city. To make a pledge, click here.

At the end we will create a collection of stories and pictures available online and in print, including tasty recipes from chefs we have worked with in the past, ready to give out as the fruit season comes! 

We’re always on the lookout for more volunteers and trees that may need help harvesting in season – if you are interested, do get in touch through our website or our Facebook page