the long table

Freezers of Love is an innovative idea from Gloucestershire, run by an award-winning social enterprise. If it makes you miserable that vulnerable go hungry (while big supermarkets make a fortune), be inspired by this outfit that cooks up excess food (from shops and allotments) to serve free meals to local people.

Before cooking, read up on food safety for people & pets (many human foods are unsafe around animal friends).

Founded by two friends who shared a mutual dismay of how society is ‘doing food badly’ and leaving people unwell and lonely (in a country where a third of all food grown and made is never eaten) they decided to do something to help. The meals are offered free or a pay-what-you-can donation, with money given used to invest in pay-what-you-want cafes and a Teenage Kitchen (one student has already found a job as a baker at a local farm cafe).

how to grow or share free produce

Learn how to make your garden safe for pets and use humane methods to deter slugs and snails. Find nontoxic deterrents for unwelcome visitors at Grazers (organic gardening should take care of things naturally). 

Start (or join) a community garden. Islington’s Culpeper Community Garden is an example of how to do it well. Encircled by trees, this organic garden has a lawn, ponds, rose pergolas, a wildlife area and 49 vegetable plots (including 2 with raised beds for disabled gardeners) with a big compost bin and communal tool shed. Members can chat over tea in the hut or on the sun terrace, or simply watch the wildlife from the garden benches.

Lend & Tend is a garden-share website that connects people who have gardens (but can’t grow food due to time, age or disability) with those who wish to grow food, but don’t have gardens. Sign up for just over a tenner (or a donation) for a Patch Match! Read their safety rules.

Incredible Edible began in the Yorkshire town of Todmorden, but is now a worldwide movement. Volunteers grow free organic food for local people  in train stations, health centres and schools, and also grow fruit/nut trees.  Residents can then simply pick herbs on their daily commute or pop to the orchards to harvest some apples for supper!

Sheffield Abundance Handbook is a free download to help you start a ‘scrumping project’, using a pole with a hook to shake fruit from the trees. Like garden-shares, you find landowners who have fruit trees they are unable to harvest. Usually the fruit is shared between the landowner and scrumper, with bruised fruits being made into juice or jam for local community projects.

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