The saying goes that when life hands you lemons, you should make lemonade, but for orchardist Lars Molving, the fruit in question would be apricots.
Mr Molving’s main fruit crop is cherries, but he also has 100 to 120 Nevis apricot trees, which in the past have been picked by staff from Jackson Orchards and sold at their roadside stall.
Bumper crops this year meant the apricots were not needed by Jackson’s, so Mr Molving’s wife, Felicity Pugh, looked at who might be able to take them for food banks.
The couple contacted the Salvation Army in Alexandra, the Cromwell Foodbank and KiwiHarvest, a logistics and distribution agency that collects food that might otherwise go to waste and delivers it to food banks and service agencies.
KiwiHarvest Queenstown branch manager Kayleigh Simons-Smith said Mr Molving contacted the agency saying he had a “whole bunch” of apricots that needed to be picked.
“He didn’t want the fruit to go to waste,” she said.
Mrs Simons-Smith reached out to Cromwell local Pat Johnston, who is involved with both the Cromwell and Otago Farmer’s Markets, which both donate unsold product to KiwiHarvest.
Mrs Johnston put out a call for pickers on social media and to her personal networks, and gathered volunteers on the Monday holiday and again on Tuesday.
The fruit they pick was to be collected by Mrs Simons-Smith yesterday for distribution in Cromwell, Wanaka and Queenstown.