My son asked me a little while ago, ‘Why do people buy their apples from the supermarket when there are lots of free apples growing in the village?
A good question, you might agree, but why do we?
Is it because we think we’re not allowed to pick fruit if it’s in a public place? Is it because we don’t know our neighbours well enough to share our homegrown veg with them? Or is it because we are so used to ‘shop bought’ vegetables we overlook the free offerings available?
Whatever the answer, I, for one, think we need to take action, we need to stop wasting this fresh produce, save ourselves some money, reduce our food miles and get to know our neighbours and neighbourhoods a bit better.
Let me introduce you to my home grown initiative:
Fayre to Share
Quite simply the aim of Fayre to Share is to create a network of accessible edible outdoor spaces in homes, schools, businesses and public spaces across the country where individuals can share their home-grown, surplus fresh produce with their local community.
It’s as simple as that!
From sharing harvested apples on your front lawn to growing fresh herbs, to be picked, in your shop window box, Fayre to Share squares can be as large or small as an individual or organization chooses, the only stipulation is that they are easily accessible for all to use.
So how can you get involved? It’s easy …
1. Sign up to the Queen of Easy Green™ newsletter to receive a downloadable Fayre to Share ‘signpost’ and to receive updates and news about Fayre to Share.
2. Create your own Fayre to Share square. This can be as small as a plant pot, a raised bed or as large as a whole garden, it’s up to you. Just ensure you have permission to use the land, it is suitable for growing foods, it is not contaminated and it is easily and safely accessible. (If the land is in hgh hormone human the public domain check with your local authority before you commence).
3. Present your harvest or plants your crops*, don’t forget to identify what they are so people will know exactly what they are picking.
4. Display your Fayre to Share signpost in or on your square, so everyone can clearly see that you have fresh produce to share.
5. Encourage family, neighbours, your local schools and work colleagues to join in and create their own Fayre to Share square so you can share produce, seeds and advice with them.
6. Update me with your news and photos of your Fayre to Share square through my Queen of Easy Green Facebook page, telling me where your square is, when your crops will be available, your hints, tips and of course, recipes.
So come on, join in! Who knows, maybe together we can start a Fayre to Share revolution – wouldn’t that be cool!
* Chives, parsley, coriander, dill, garlic chives, sage, thyme, radishes, carrots, fennel, spring onions, spinach and red frills mustard are great crops for the smaller squares.
Need a little more convincing why Fayre to Share is a good idea, here’s some more benefits.
- Reduce surplus home-grown fresh produce waste
- Save money on fresh produce
- Reduce food miles and cut carbon emissions
- Promote eating seasonally
- Educates children on where their food comes and brings them closer to nature
- Encourages community cohesion and interaction
- Re-connects people with their food and immediate environment
- Enables households with no or limited gardening space to enjoy home grown food
- Champions the benefits of local produce
- Introduces people to foods they wouldn’t normally eat
- Encourages healthier diets through use of fresh produce over commercially produce convenience foods
- Enables local communities to be more self-sufficient
- Re-skils participants in gardening and practical skills
- Encourages the acceptance of ‘ugly’ fruit and veg
- Takes the positives of community gardens to create a more accessible, inclusive community garden network which is open to everyone and is easy and fun
Are you in?