Wānaka Sun       

Saving a tonne of apples

Posted at 6:00am Thursday 15 Apr, 2021 | By Joanna Perry newsdesk@thewanakasun.co.nz

900kg of excess apples were turned into 220 jars of chutney and 250 litres of juice at the seventh annual Wānaka Autumn Apple Drive last weekend.

The Wānaka Autumn Harvest Festival was organised by volunteers Local Food Wānaka and Wao Aotearoa, featuring the apple drive on Saturday and a harvest lunch in Rippon Hall on Sunday. Apple drive co-organiser Sophie Ward said both were “really amazing” events.

60-70 people turned out with chopping boards, knives, jars and glasses on Saturday to join volunteer organisers - Ward, Petrina Duncan, Sarah Allen, Naomi Lindsay, Lorne from Pirate Pickles on the chutney and Ben Elms on the cider press - and saved 45 banana boxes, a bunch of bags and buckets full of apples from going to waste.

Volunteers took the chutney and juice away with them, with the remaining chutney jars to be donated or gifted and the juice used for cider vinegar for next year's chutney.

Ward said the stars of the day were Mount Aspiring College's Team Green - a group of students interested in sustainability - who gave up their time to help throughout the day and got stuck in on the mulcher and the press.

“They showed so much initiative, worked really hard and really had fun,” said Ward. 

The apple pressers were rewarded for their hard work by tasty treats from volunteer chef, Bernie Makia, including a custard apple tart, apple buns and a loaf of chocolate apple sourdough bread.

Long lunch organiser Brona Parsons said that the sold out event on Sunday, featuring a multi-course meal based on excess produce donated from the community, raised around $2,000 for local charity Food for Love - twice that of last year.

“This was all pulled off by a group of volunteers,” said Ward, who also gave special mention to Petrina Duncan, one of the founding organisers of the apple drive who has attended every single event - even travelling up from Dunedin to do so.

Read edition 1022 of the Wānaka Sun here.


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