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The Fruit Factory - Brighton Permaculture

If you need inspiration for turning wasted fruit into a precious resource, then look no further! Brighton Permaculture Trust's Scrumping & Fruit Factory projects are a great example of what can be achieved ...

Why were the Scrumping & Fruit Factory Projects set up?

Brighton Permaculture Trust is a fantastic charity that promotes greener lifestyles and sustainable development. After discovering that hundreds of tonnes of fruit go unpicked within 25 miles of Brighton each year, the Trust set up its very own Scrumping Project in order turn some of this fruit into a resource to benefit the community. Last year they picked 2 tonnes of waste fruit from orchards and turned it into juice or jams, chutneys or preserves, which are available for sale at Foodshed in Brighton.

The Fruit Factory is an ambitious project to create a hub for the scrumping project and the Trust itself. The new premises, situated at Stanmer Park, will provide room to house, store and turn fruit into delicious products in full view of the public, as well provide a venue for the Trust's courses and events.

Who is funding the projects?

The Trust is funded entirely through grants, donations and course or event fees. Sales of the produce they make go towards expanding the educational opportunities the Trust can provide.

The Scrumping Project relies heavily on volunteers to pick and process the fruit.

The Trust raised money for The Fruit Factory through a crowd-funding campaign via Buzzbnk (see below).

Who will benefit from the project and why?

All of the Trust's fruit-related projects are all about sharing permaculture ethics and promoting sustainability in order to bring people together and help provide access to healthy food.

Since 2003, the Trust have helped schools and community orchards plant nearly 90 orchards across Sussex, and the Scrumping Project - now in its 6th year - is all about turning wasted fruit into a valuable resource for the community.

The Trust runs a Fruit Cookery & Juicing course with great ideas for turning fruit into drinks and delicious products. The course covers how to harvest and store fruit, pressing apples, preserving juice and how to engage the local community in orchard activities. Orchard planting, grafting, pruning and care courses are also available.

What stage is the project at now?

The Fruit Factory began life as a straw bale 'internal building' and an old tractor shed in July 2014. Funds needed to be raised for windows, a new roof, plastering, and services, so in March 2015, the Trust launched a crowd-funding campaign to raise £12,000 in 30 days. Two days before the end of the campaign they met their goal and raised £12,601 as a result of 236 donors.

Starting up your own group

For handy tips on setting up your own 'fruit group' or Apple Day, including the juicing equipment you might need, see our Community Juicing pages.

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