In September 2023, Share the Harvest invited everyone in North Lancashire to join in and help prevent fruit waste from local trees such as apples and pears. Read more about how it went in this blog post.
Share the Harvest is a month-long festival of gleans (scroll down to find out what “gleaning” means!), events and workshops happening all over Lancaster District.
Could you, your organisation, business or community group organise an event to help rescue surplus fruit and fight food waste? In autumn 2024, you’re invited to join in with a local gleaning event, a workshop on juicing, cooking and preserving fruit or by hosting a glean in your garden, orchard or farm. Donated surplus will be distributed through Eggcup’s network.
A limited number of mini-grants of up to £50 are available to support community groups and charities and cover event expenses. You can express interest in a grant when you register your event.
Or if you’d like to join gleaning events as a volunteer, sign up to join the North Lancashire Gleaning Network.
Host a glean
Do you have fruit trees that need harvesting, or surplus fruit to donate? If you have more fruit trees in your garden, orchard or farm than you can harvest, or know of fruit trees in your neighbourhood that regularly don’t get harvested, please contact Jay to find out more about hosting a glean, borrowing harvesting tools or using the Claver Hill community apple press for free.
Organise an event
Share the Harvest is a decentralised festival with events all over North Lancashire. Could your community group, organisation or business organise a glean or run an activity? Borrow harvesting tools for free, apply for a small support grant, or add your glean, cooking workshop, neighbourhood harvest festival or other event to the programme.
Join in as a gleaning volunteer
Would you like to spend a fun day out, connecting with your local community and making new friends while rescuing surplus fruit that would otherwise go to waste? Please sign up as a gleaning volunteer.
What is “gleaning”?
Gleaning is a community practice of harvesting surplus crops that would otherwise go to waste. Scroll down to read more.
Gleaning is an ancient practice where crops left over after the harvest are collected from farmers’ fields. Even today, it happens surprisingly often that it is not commercially viable for a farmer to harvest all their crop, leading to food waste and loss of profits for farmers. And so this practice is now being revived by community groups across the UK, making sure surplus produce is harvested by volunteers and redistributed for bellies, not bins.
Somewhat different from “scrumping” or “dumpster diving”, which may not have the consent of the owner of the land or tree, our gleans are entirely legal and done in cooperation with the owners. It’s a win-win for anyone too busy to harvest all their crops, for volunteers to have a fun day out and take home some fresh produce, and ultimately for people in need of extra food.
It’s not waste – unless we waste it! The harvested crops are in perfect edible condition, and are far from being waste. Eggcup‘s excellent redistribution system ensures that all harvested food gets redistributed to those most in need, and that any excess is processed and preserved so as little as possible goes to waste.
The North Lancashire Gleaning Network is coordinated by Eggcup and the Closing Loops project. You can join the network as a gleaning volunteer or support it by hosting a glean on your farm, orchard or community garden. To find out more, please get in touch.
Likewise, if you are a food producer, wholesaler or retailer and need a solution for redistributing surplus food, please get in touch with Eggcup.
This work has stemmed from Feedback’s work on gleaning. To find gleaning networks in other parts of the country, please visit the Feedback gleaning network page.
SHARE THE HARVEST: EVENTS PROGRAMME 2023
Please check back in August 2024 for this year’s programme and sign up to the FoodFutures newsletter at the bottom left of this page to stay in the loop.