Getting gleaning

October 2019

Harvesting fresh produce that might otherwise go to waste, this year, as part of Feedback Global’s community-led gleaning project, we have started to take groups of community growers on gleaning expeditions to a farm in south Lancashire to pick vegetables.  This brings lots of benefits, best presented by this comment by one of our gleaning group: “I have really enjoyed today.  It’s lovely to get outside of Bootle and to see a different place.  The farmer was so friendly and it’s amazing to see all this fresh food that we can use in our meal on Wednesday.”

Adding produce from foraging and Taking Root community garden gluts, we demonstrated what can be done with fresh but unwanted produce, by organising a fun food sharing day to promote the links between fresh fruit and vegetables and healthy eating – our glean, chop, cook and eat event. The Glean and Glut sharing event took place at St Leonard’s YCC in Linacre Ward and was open to the local community, in particular people living on restricted budgets.

Abi from the Ministry of Food at YKids got everyone organised and we set up cleaning, chopping and making stations for our guests to join in the collective experience and contribute to cooking up dishes for everyone there, encouraging everyone to value food and friendship.

Along with learning, prepping, cooking and eating on the day, we put together goodie bags with a selection of the fruit and vegetables we used at the event, together with recipe cards, so that everyone could go home and try out the recipes themselves. We added packets of seeds collected from our Taking Root community gardens for good measure, and also gave each guest a second goodie bag to pass on to friends, family or neighbours.

Leftover produce was given to local organisations for community lunches and to the Foodbank to add to the week’s donations. Nothing was wasted!

Thank you to Living Well Sefton for the Community Resilience Grant, which helped Taking Root make all this happen.

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