The beginning ….
I moved with my family to the Sunshine Coast, into a home that had beautiful established gardens with several fruit trees. Not knowing what we had, we set about planting some vegetables and herbs into the gardens beds while we waited to see what produce was in store for us. As time passed, the trees started to flower and soon began to produce fruit, much more fruit than we needed. With all my creativity, I still didn’t make a dent in the supply, I began to give it away. Like me, most of my network also had too much produce and not enough time or resources to eat, preserve or juice all this fruit.
So, I finished the season digging a big hole in the ground and burying the excess. As an avid gardener, this broke my heart. I had invested time, money and effort into my garden, only to waste much of the ‘fruits’ of my labour.
This experience was the inspiration for Spare Harvest.
In two generations we have lost our connection to our community and our food. Even though we live in a world that is more connected than ever before, we feel less connected and for an increasing number of people they feel disconnected.
Mental health is an indispensable part of health, and has been defined by WHO as “a state of well-being in which every individual realizes his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community”.
One of the components that contribute to mental health and wellbeing is our social connections. Spare Harvest create new social connections around a common interest – food and garden.
We all know the horrifying statistics around food waste, what they don’t take into account is the amount of garden and farm waste. Not only is food wasted in gardens and farms due to seasonal gluts and produce not meeting cosmetic standards, there are numerous other resources wasted. Tools that don’t get used all the time, plants, cuttings, pots, left over landscaping materials and organic matter. One person’s trash is another person’s treasure and it does not make sense to waste these resources when there could be someone in your community who will use them.
It’s time we tried to keep our local resources circulating in our community for as long as possible. Let’s throw away less and share more. Share food, share resources, share time, share land and share knowledge.