What is Leeds Urban Harvest?

Leeds Urban Harvest is a voluntary run project that collects and distributes soft fruits that grow unharvested around our city on trees and bushes in both public and private spaces.

Fruits are distributed to groups, volunteers and the local community.  Damaged fruits are turned into juice, preserves, jams and chutneys.  Any money raised is put back into the project to help with running costs.  

As part of the project we aim to raise awareness of the great abundance of local tasty and healthy food that is available for everyone and for free!

To be affordable to anyone, we decided to sell our juice at £1 minimum donation and if you bring back your bottle, we give you back 50p. We also collect the tops of the bottles as the Scrap Creative Reuse Art Project in Kirstall can re-use them in their projects.

Leeds Urban Harvest have teamed up with All Hallows Church in Burley and we now have a great kitchen for juicing, space for sharing and lots of friendly faces too.


The Apple’s Story John Parsons

written for Leeds Apple Day 2011

By the redbrick houses of this Yorkshire town
Over terraced gardens, imagine looking down;
And from this bird’s-eye vantage frequently one sees,
Scattered through these gardens, fruitful apple trees.

Now I am just one apple, but from what I hear,
Though we grow reliably and ripen every year,
Of these many apple trees, here and all around,
We stay unpicked till autumn gales blow us to the ground.

And thus it seems that every year it shall come to pass
We’re trodden on the pavements or rotting in the grass,
Lying next to dog-poo, bottles, bags and tins
Till finally together tipped into council bins.

Another thing that gets to me, as I look below
And see the people passing, eating as they go,
Pizza pies and burgers, chocolate bars and sweets,
And then they drop the wrappers, littering the streets.

What a waste!  We ask ourselves ‘What are we growing for?’
Someone must have planted us - yet people now ignore
Us all...  We’re good food! We…are…delicious!
We’re chock-a-block with vitamins. We’re thoroughly nutritious.

We apples growing hereabouts can be had for free
So when some people buy them I’m curious to see
Where these apples have come from.  I take a sidelong glance -
Far off New Zealand, South Africa and France!

And when it comes to mobiles the one that’s most well known
The cell-phone king, the one to beat, the marvellous iPhone
This most iconic gadget, the phone of worldwide fame -
What is this brand that beats them all?  ‘Apple’ is the name!

Meanwhile I hung by my shrinking stalk to my mother tree,
Wondering when I finally fell what would become of me,
When suddenly some people came, maybe ten or twelve -
The ‘Urban Harvest Pickers’ is how they called themselves

They cast a wide tarpaulin making it surround
The entire trunk and held it up above the ground.
Then the biggest pickers gave the tree a shake
And I knew my umbilicus was guaranteed to break.

Down I tumbled from my branch with all my sibling fruit
Gathered up in boxes, soon we were en route,
Astonished at how quickly everything could change
As we rattled down the road, heading for the Grange

So here it’s come, at last, at last, a new initiative,
Somebody to value us, someone appreciative.
And in their conversations I heard the pickers say
We shall be celebrated on Urban Apple Day.

                                                                                                JAP.  30th October 2011