THE POWER of technology has helped a B o l t o n wo m a n ’ s scheme to ensure delicious ripe fruit does not go to waste take on an international flavour.

Two years ago award winning landscape designer Sharon Hockenhull set up a scheme to help amateur gardeners distribute their surplus fruit, which would otherwise go uneaten, to others for free.

The idea was that on a weekend in October growers could leave their surplus fruit outside their homes for others to collect.

Since then the idea has developed further with the help of apple enthusiast Richard Borrie, who runs orangepippin.


And now their new Fruitshare website is finding gardeners as far afield as Greece and the USA registering to offer people in their areas their surplus produce.

To help spread the message even further 37-yearold Sharon, of Bramhall Avenue, Harwood, began using the social networking site Twitter to talk about her passion for fruit and now has more than 1,000 followers.

The Fruitshare website allows people around the world to register as a “sharer” and their fruit availability details are added to the database.

They can be matched up with fruit “seekers” living in the same area.

“Anyone from individuals with a passion for baking or making jams and even ciders to local chefs wanting to get the most seasonal, local produce available to them can search the database,” said Sharon.

Sharon, who won a silver medal at the RHS Tatton flower show this year for a garden to mark the 40th anniversary of St Ann’s Hospice, is delighted that her idea to cut down food waste is beginning to capture the imagination of gardeners abroad as well as the UK.

“I strongly believe that Fruitshare is part of the bigger ‘living more sustainably’ issue,” she said.

“It encourages the appreciation of the seasons, is as local as you can get in terms of sourcing and growing food, so reducing food miles.

“It is free, it reduces food waste and creates a positive community sharing spirit.”

Visit or read her blog at sharonhockenhull.wordpress.