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Post by assassin on Thu Nov 21, 2019 2:35 am

Today was momentous for us and by us I mean myself and all those with allotments on land I own as we have engaged in a little local food project throughout the year and today saw us donate a total of 10 tonnes of fresh food and beat the goal we had set for ourselves.

Early in the year I bought another small plot and turned it into allotments and it provided 8 allotments, but 2 were odd shaped; at the same time we had two couples in a local supermarket on Sundays who asked shoppers if they could donate an item of food (and certainly not money) to their tub and this was behind a screen so nobody could see how little or how much people donated and they didn't care how much or little you donated and were as grateful if you donated a single piece of fruit or a large pack of food, and they were two couples and not a charity. I saw them and they explained what they were doing and asked about gardening and admitted they only grew grass, hedging, and flowers at home and I suggested they try swapping the flowers for cauliflowers and they did, other allotment holders rallied round and helped them when I gave them the two odd shaped allotments and they didn't care about their shape, merely how much they could plant and what yields they could get.

Throughout the summer they produced lots of salad and summer crops which meant they had a surplus and could give more away to food bank customers and their winter veg is now on song, other allotment holders also donated their spare crops and an informal target of 10 tonnes was set to be met by March 2020 and today we have beaten it, only 3 months early, and now the push is on for Christmas. Every food bank customer will now get at least 3 veg which admittedly will be frozen and whatever we pull from the ground betwen now and Christmas, three local bakers have also come aboard and everyday they donate their unsold stock, and these are single bakers and not large, or other chains of multi nationals, along with two local butchers who have donated offcuts of meat which is perfectly usable and would normally been thrown away.

Throughout the year everyone had taken their crop surplus and cut them up and frozen them and we have no shortage of cauliflowers, and these were put into the largest containers they had and given to the food bank, this is all insecticide and chemical free and totally organic, and it is as fresh as you can get, a local freezer repairer donated two large and out of date freezers which may be old and not in demand, but are more reliable then much newer models, but who really cares what they look like. A local plastics company who makes plastic and paper bags has donated lots of different bags made from RPET which is recycled PET bottles and turned into bags for them to complete the next part of the operation.
Food will remain frozen and be portioned out into these bags as individual vegetables while some will be mixed and turned into stew packs with a bag of meat to go with it so all food bank customers have to do is cook it and add things such as potatoes and gravy when it is nearly cooked, and the stew packs are large enough to feed an average family with a main, hot meal for a week over the Christmas period, and enough ingredients to make about 50 cheese scones to dip into it.
Alongside this we have other things donated and these are mainly the chutneys, pickles, jams and marmalades my neighbours make along with 15 gallong of sparkling pear wine I have made and 10 gallong of orange and beetroot wine my neighbour has made and this is very sherry like, the only proviso is they they return all the glass jars and bottles so we can reuse them as we normally do unless they are broken.

This, and next weekend are going to be interesting as we are running classes to show these people how to make their stew packs up and into a stew and all they will need are potatoes and gravy to finish them, along with how to mane simple cheese scones, a local community transport scheme has kindly offered to transport these people to and from the classes and everyone will be getting involved, they don't know yet what they will be getting but we do and at the very least 80 families will be fed with a substantial meal for 5 days along with their Christmas dinner.
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Post by Sharpysparky on Fri Nov 22, 2019 4:54 pm

What a great job mate, well done to all involved but hats off to you for kickstarting it 👍
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