A Grand Day Out Gleaning

This week TRJFP Brum went on an adventure to the countryside! Joining forces with Feedback, we provided a delicious lunch for all of the lovely volunteers, as well as pitching in with the gleaning ourselves.

What is gleaning, I hear you ask?

Gleaning is the age-old practice of harvesting leftover crops. The UK Gleaning Network was founded in 2012 by Feedback, the organisation founded by Tristram Stuart to campaign for an end to food waste. It’s estimated that 30-40% of fruit and vegetables in the UK don’t even leave the farm, mostly due to cosmetic standards imposed by supermarkets. So many crops are left on the tree or ploughed back into the field because it’s just not economically worthwhile for the farmers to harvest them.

12309929_1694401360805000_1220542884444540996_oTis the season for ripe, juicy apples

It was great to see so many people giving their time to rescue a beautiful crop of Braeburn apples that had been rejected due to being “too green”. A team of about 30 people worked hard, despite the rain and the cold, and managed to pick around 4 tonnes of delicious, crisp apples to be redistributed.

12232943_1694401260805010_3147451316582557745_o

The experience of eating an apple that you’ve just picked is amazing – the taste is so much richer than any fruit you can buy in the supermarket. Yet so many people have never had this experience, and perhaps wouldn’t even think that there is any difference. We’re so conditioned by supermarket standards to think only about how our fruit and veg look, and until you have that experience of truly fresh produce, how can you realise what you’re missing out on? I think a part of our mission should be to share this with as many people as possible, by growing food in the city, and using and sharing all that we grow.

12309584_1694401454138324_445632761523564782_o (1)Meeting our buddies from Bristol!

We weren’t the only representatives of The Real Junk Food Project out gleaning! We were really glad to have the opportunity to catch up with some lovely folks from The Bristol Skipchen. Part of their team are currently on their way to Lesbos to set up a solidarity café feeding refugees travelling to Europe. Check out this summary and head over to their fundraising page to support them if you’re able to.

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