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Ninewells Community Garden turns unloved apples into juice for community

mary.colvin059 mary.colvin059  •  2023-11-03  •  No comments  •  Dundee Climate Fund Round 2.0  • 

A shared lunch with garden produce
A shared lunch with garden produce

Project code: 52

Estimated Price


Ninewells Community Garden (NCG), is situated in the Arboretum of Ninewells Hospital and open all week for people to come and spend time in a welcoming natural environment. All of our free activities and opportunities promote physical and mental wellbeing, collective learning, biodiversity, sustainability, respect and inclusiveness.

We would love to add Apple Pressing Equipment to our facilities to start a project that will make people of Dundee aware of the potential for transforming unloved surplus produce into something that can be shared with their community. The climate fund will enable us to purchase the equipment that we will use to upskill and engage many people in Dundee.

By championing a product made from apples that could potentially be left to rot we aim to steer people away from accepting food waste as part of life. The effort put in collectively by members of the public and our volunteers and staff will create a delicious juice that embodies the spirit of what community gardening is all about. 


NCG is focused on growing and sharing produce in order to make fresh, healthy and nutritious food available for our local community, regardless of affordability. Our outdoor kitchen space encourages healthy, seasonal eating through recipe sharing and cooking classes. We focus on ways of preserving fruit and vegetables and low-cost healthy meals in a bid to help tackle food insecurity and food waste.

The orchard at NCG is well established and managed for growing fruit and demonstrating grafting and pruning. We manage our orchard areas without pesticides and in a low impact way that increases the biodiversity and allows the area to support a wide range of wildlife. Enhancing biodiversity and encouraging the preservation of old varieties of fruit is vital to the health of our planet and helps us safeguard our own food supply.

The idea of the Apple Press Project takes inspiration from a similar and very successful project model run by Tayport community Garden that exchanges unwanted apples in return for quantities of juice. We will use this machinery and process to strengthen and develop new relationships with our neighbours, hospital colleagues and community groups. Any juice that is not shared with them will be bottled to share with our local community larders and be used to increase awareness of community gardening activities at outreach and fundraising events across the city.

We will use the equipment as a central point to bring people together and teach new skills. Not just in the juicing but in an annual programme of events learning about rare and heritage varieties, pruning and grafting, orchard maintenance, blossom and harvest days. We want to celebrate orchards, community green spaces, harvesting together and the value of caring for the environment. At all points our 40+ strong volunteer team will be engaged to learn new skills and help facilitate the project.

Our unique location next to the hospital puts us in a position to help support the wellbeing of staff, patients and visitors to the hospital. It also means we are a great central location to collect apples. Many people are journeying here regularly anyway so if they can bring their unloved garden apples along with them it avoids excess journeys. As with all our garden activities we will aim to make as low a carbon footprint as possible; we will work to find a local farm that could make use of the apple pulp that we cannot use, any extra can be composted to feed our garden for years to come.

NCG is part of the network Community Growers Network of 25+ community gardens and growing spaces in Dundee city and will invite collaborative working and sharing skills and knowledge across all these gardens. The equipment will be available for any parties that wish it to come and use it. They will be supported by our staff and volunteers.


Proposed on behalf of: Ninewells Community Garden

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