Keen to glean: food is saved

Keen to glean: food is saved

Rosalyn Symonds and Jane Humphreys organised the gleaning of the fields owned by Trewithen Estates

7th July 2021

By Warren Wilkins

Vegetable pickers ensured nothing went to waste in St Newlyn East on Sunday. Volunteers helped pick two and a half tonnes of cauliflowers and broccoli, which would have perished otherwise.

Rosalyn Symonds and Jane Humphreys organised the gleaning of the fields owned by Trewithen Estates and farmed by Southern England Farms

More than 20 people gathered the food, to be shared between various charities. The hundreds of cauliflowers and broccoli collected were districted to Newquay Orchard, DISC Newquay and the Community Store, to be used to cook meals for people in need.

Rosalyn said: “We both hate food waste and so thought we could harvest the veg and give it to the food banks after Southern England Farms was finished and had given the field back to the land owner. “

“We just wanted to save the food and feed somebody with it. Another friend put us in touch with Holly Whitelaw from the Cornwall Gleaning Network who told us all about gleaning.”

“We did the training and decided we would give it a go. The Cornwall Gleaning Network was set up to reconnect people with the land to minimise waste and help feed those in poverty.”

“Farmers are unable to harvest all the crops due to a number of issues –they may be wonky, a glut in produce, a lack of pickers or just due to the difficulty in growing the crop due to weather. Farming is hard, growing crops is not an exact science there are a number of factors involved in the growing of produce for consumers. “

“The crops that are unfortunately left in the field are often perfectly good and totally useable. For Jane and I it was an easy decision to make to help glean fields and pass on the food to a worthy cause whilst having fun in the fields with like-minded volunteers.”

“It is a safe fun way to help people in need who have maybe lost their income due to recent economic issues. The farmers we contacted were happy for us to glean, save the unused harvest and pass it onto the needy. “

“We started up a Facebook page and now have 59 members who follow our updates. This was our first glean with two sessions running. “

“We had 20 people attend over two sessions. They had jobs which were cutters, carriers, weighers, packers and runners. We also had volunteer delivery drivers. “

“We had such a great time rescuing the veg that we plan to do another glean at the end of the summer. Holly Whitelaw helped us with training, risk assessments, insurance and first aid. She provided knives and special gloves. Jane then gave us a demonstration on how to cut the cauliflowers what to look for in a good cauliflower and off we went into the field.

“Newquay Orchard took 60 heads, DISC took a van full and Ellen at the community store in Newquay took two van loads for further distribution to DISC. This food was picked locally and will feed loads of people in need. “

“Thanks must go to the landowners, Trewithen Estate and to Southern England Farms.”

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