We have spectacularly gleaned right to the very end of the cherry season.
This week's gleans saw us rescue 187kg on Monday at Selson farm and another 155kg at Newmafruit on Wednesday. I know I've said this before, but this really does mark the end of cherry season- the farms have removed their nets and the rain expected tonight will spoil any final remaining fruits (although I suspect the wasps will have got in their first anyway). I want to thank you all for your spectacular efforts to rescue as many cherries as possible.
I thought you'd like to know that in total this year we have gleaned 1541kg cherries in Kent. That is a serious amount of fruit which has now been devoured by some of our regions most vulnerable people. A 'portion of fruit (according to the "eat 5 a day" campaign) is 80g for an adult, so we have gleaned sufficient cherries this year to feed 19,262 people a portion of the finest Kentish cherries! And if that doesn't sound impressive enough- Newmafruit (one of Kent's largest growers and importers of fruit) harvested 50 tonnes of cherries from their orchards this year and they considered 2019 to be a very good year, so the fact that a group of considerably less experienced pickers managed to glean over 1.5 tonnes on only 8 partial days of picking (including some seriously hot days plus having to do a lot of quality control on some of the varieties) is amazing. Thank you all very, very much!
The next glean we have planned is on the 14th August starting at 3pm. This will probably be leafy veg and potatoes near Wingham but farms are now harvesting plums and Newmafruit has offered us there's when they're finished picking so keep an eye on your email inboxes, there may be some more dates added any day. It's also now early apple season, but I don't expect there to be a rush for these any time soon (I hope!). If you'd like to sign up for 14th you can do so here:
And if you're not already on the Gleaning Network mailing list and would like to receive emails when we have gleaning days scheduled you can do so here:
Finally, we were chatting about the British sugar industry on Wednesday's glean and I thought some of you might be interested in reading Feedback's exploration into the UK sugar industry and it's impact on our soils. It was truly a shock to most of us when it was shared amongst the team: https://feedbackglobal.org/campaigns/sugar-beet-and-soil-depletion/about/ there's plenty more campaigns, research and studies on different aspects of the food system on The Feedback Website, if you're passionate about sustainable foods I do suggest giving it a browse when you have the time.
Once again, thank you so much for joining us on the final week of cherry gleaning, it was a true pleasure to see you all out in the orchards and I look forward to seeing you again soon on one farm or another.
Best and beets,