The winner secures some great opportunities for local food based charities and organisations to receive an abundance of good fresh and tasty produce from Fruits of the Forage, who are committed to helping support the community during these challenging times.
In the first episode legendary bass producer Chimpo and rap upstart Levi battle it out, serving up treats created using one of Fruits of the Forage’s fresh fruit and veg boxes for judges Freddie Forage, Sleazy F Baby, and Ez from Pull Up Bar and Cafe. With some Cheeky narration from Chunky there’s much flava inna de box!
The three brothers behind Fruits of the Forage responded to COVID-19 by using their knowledge of orchards, foraging wild plants and connections to local farms to launch a Fruit & Veg Box scheme for the community. Their veg boxes showcase the best seasonal produce alongside wild foraged plants.
Fruits of the Forage founder Fred said: “I first connected with Chunky through his music and on social media, and after a few conversations about our shared passion for food, the environment, and supporting those most in need in our community, the Manchester Cook Off was born. Chunky used his connections in the community to get a broad spectrum of individuals on board for the project, with each component united behind the social mission of Fruits of the Forage.”
Fruits of the Forage was founded in 2014, with a mission to save fruit from going to waste. Since its inception, the three brothers behind Fruits of the Forage have harvested over ten tonnes of fruit from abandoned orchards and hedgerows around Cheshire, North Wales and the fruit growing heartlands of central England. These historic orchards often contain varieties of fruit which are not readily available to buy but have a superior flavour for preserving, giving customers a chance to taste the flavours of days gone by. Fruits of the Forage then combine these fruits with overlooked wild ingredients to create a truly unique range of jams, chutneys, cordials and spirits.
Over the last 3 years, the brothers have distributed eight hundred traditional fruit trees to farms, local schools and community projects around the North West. They hope to educate people about local, historic fruit varieties whilst exploring methods of producing valuable fruit in a way which benefits the environment, creates habitats for wildlife and increases bio-diversity.
Fred added: “The pandemic has helped change attitudes towards food. Our Fruit & Veg Box scheme has created a distribution network for local produce. We love supporting independent local farmers and wholesalers, breaking the existing model to create a sustainable alternative to the supermarket supply chain. Since the start of the project, we have also been distributing surplus produce at the end of each week to local community projects including, Eat Well, Rob’s Angels, and community kitchens across the city.”