It’s lucky we’re starting to see the easing of restrictions as it’s all go for our community gardeners at this time of year.
June was the last month of our project The Big Community Glean Up, supported by Merseyside Recycling and Waste (MRWA) Community Fund. Starting out in April 2020 it has to be said it didn’t quite work out as planned due to the arrival of the pandemic. Nevertheless we have managed to adapt, re-design and deliver a whole variety of activities to promote the reduction of waste, encourage reuse and recycling and contribute to the fantastic work of the voluntary and community sector getting food to those most in need during some very difficult times.
Sadly, we couldn’t open up the gleaning experience to many, but we still managed to take small groups on six gleaning expeditions from south Sefton to farms in Lancashire to bring back fresh produce that would have otherwise been ploughed back into the fields, and distribute it to 14 food distributing organisations.
We had to shelve our sit-down meals for our community, but instead we joined up with Community Pantry to make and distribute 50 portions of pumpkin soup and dahl and put together a recipe in a bag with all the ingredients, including gleaned cabbages and the additional ingredients to make potato and cabbage soup, which we gave out to 15 people.
Promoting understanding about the provenance of the food we source from farms, we organised a community cooking demonstration of how to use gleaned kale to make delicious meals to serve up at South Park, and encouraging everyone to try new foods showed us how to use jackfruit, using up tins of produce that would have gone to landfill.
BBC North West popped along to find out more about gleaning.
Discovering more about what is grown locally in community gardens and local public spaces, in June 2021 we organised another community cooking event and taught everyone how to make elderflower cordial using flowers gathered in a foraging expedition.