Christmas Dinners & Festive Feelings

Every year we team up with several local organisations and charities to help others at Christmas by putting together an “unwrapped” present scheme that benefits others in your community. Unwrapped gifts are a way of giving two gifts in one – you can buy a gift for a cause you really believe in on behalf of one of your friends or family.

We have developed our Greener Greens Unwrapped gifts over several years. We work with local Children’s Centres and charities to bring fresh organic veg, fruit and one or two sweeter goodies to local families and individuals who could benefit from help at Christmas.

Last year our Unwrapped gifts fed over 350 people with 450kg of fruit and veg going to Crawley in our family bags and over 115kg of fresh produce going to Redhill for the VARB Festive Feast.  We cannot do this without our amazing customers and are particularly grateful to those who have participated since we started it about 10 years ago.

We supply the produce at cost, and our team fill the bags before passing them to the organisation or Childrens’ Centre for distribution. The family bag contains 8kg of veggies and fruit. You pay for the bag, let the team know who you are buying it on behalf of and Greener Greens send your friend or relative a card letting them know what you have bought.

This year we will provide fresh organic produce to VARB – (Voluntary Action Reigate & Banstead) for the second year running. VARB devote themselves to building connections between charities and businesses and working together for the benefit of local people. They are holding a ‘Festive Feast’ lunch on Christmas Day for those who either spend Christmas Day alone, or families who can’t afford a Christmas lunch.   We at Greener Greens are selling 20 “bags” of produce for this event with each bag comprising sufficient food for a 7 people.  Thus we raise enough money to pay for produce for 140 and the wonderful team at VARB can concentrate on entertaining those who need it most this Christmas.

This year we’re also donating fresh fruit to the children of  St Clement’s Catholic Primary School for them to eat throughout their Christmas events instead of other unhealthier options!

So if you can afford to help spread the joy of giving this Christmas, then please consider helping us out to help ensure that others can enjoy their Christmas too. In addition to giving lots of local people a head start at Christmas, you are helping to support our independent growers.  Please get in touch with us if you are interested in buying a bag for someone this Christmas!

If you would like to get involved or find out more about VARB please contact  lisa@varb.org.uk or call 01737 762 115.

Gleaner Greens: The Day I Went Gleaning

Last Saturday I spent the day gleaning on a lovely farm in Kent.

It was a last minute thing – a post came up on my social media from Feedback calling for volunteers for the next day. Feedback is an environmental organisation that campaigns to end food waste at every level of the food system. They fight for change – from local communities to governments and global organisations. Their aim is to change society’s attitude toward wasting food. As we at Greener Greens do, Feedback understand that food waste is a symptom of our broken food system.  By scaling back farming intensity and by eliminating the significant inputs that go into crop growing we can drastically reduce the amount of food that we waste.

The purpose of the glean on Saturday was to rescue as much as possible of the 1000’s of potatoes, purple sprouting broccoli and spring greens which could not make it to the market and would otherwise have been wasted.  These particular greens were potentially going to waste because of the recent weather speeding up the growth cycle. The farm would not have been able to harvest and sell them in time before they flowered and spoilt. The potatoes were going to waste because they were cosmetic outgrades- too big or too small for commercial market.

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We started by picking purple sprouting broccoli from a field that was due to be ploughed over the following day.  This particular field had already been harvested by the farm, but there was plenty left for us.

We then did a stint with some potatoes dividing them into sacks.  The best bit for me though was being given a bushcraft knife and the task of cutting the remaining spring green cabbages from the fields. I saw a red-legged pheasant for the first time too!

 

 

The veg will be passed on to various organisations, including The Felix Project, UK Harvest as well as various other local organisations, where they will be put to good use: feeding people who need them the most. Many projects such as homeless hostels, breakfast clubs, womens’ refuge centres, and services for the elderly will be flooded with delicious food.

Do have a look at Feedback  and the work that they do. They’re a brilliant organisation who have the same core values as we do.  They do have organised gleans that you can help with too – see their website for more information and to sign up. I’d recommend it – it was a brilliant thing to do, and I got to spend the day on a farm!

 

 

Let’s Have a Community Christmas this Year!

This year, Greener Greens have teamed up with several local organisations and charities to help others this Christmas. We have put together an “unwrapped” present scheme that benefits others in your community. Unwrapped gifts are a way of giving two gifts in one – you can buy a gift for a cause you really believe in on behalf of one of your friends or family.

We have developed our Greener Greens Unwrapped gifts over several years. We work with local Children’s Centres and charities to bring fresh organic veg, fruit and one or two sweeter goodies to local families and individuals who could benefit from help at Christmas.

Our team supply the produce at cost, fill the bags and pass the bags to the charity or Childrens’ Centre for distribution. The family bag contains 8kg of veggies and fruit. The small bag, which is aimed at senior citizens or a couple, contains 5kg. You pay for the bag, let the team know who you are buying it on behalf of and Greener Greens send your friend or relative a card letting them know what you have bought.

This year in particular, we are focusing on providing food to VARB – (Voluntary Action Reigate & Banstead). VARB devote themselves to building connections between charities and businesses and working together for the benefit of local people. This year, they are holding a ‘Festive Feast’ lunch on Christmas Day for those who either spend Christmas Day alone, or families who can’t afford a Christmas lunch.   We at Greener Greens are selling a bag which serves seven people for £12.50 – all of which will go straight to VARB and to those who need it most this Christmas.

After the success of our Family Bag scheme at Broadfield Children’s Centre in Crawley last year, we will be doing the same again this year but have widened it to the Early Help Service too. This year, West Sussex County Council are working on distributing bags that we are making up to the families that need the most help this Christmas. It is a very exciting thing to be part of – helping vulnerable and in need people to enjoy Christmas is possibly the best present you could give to anyone.

We are also close to creating a contact who will be able to distribute our Senior Citizens bags too – these contain 5kg of fresh fruit and vegetables to make sure that the elderly who are spending Christmas alone or as a couple are getting the healthy food that they need.

So this year, if you can afford to help spread the joy of giving this Christmas, then please consider buying one of our bags to help ensure that others can enjoy their Christmas too. In addition to giving a local family a head start at Christmas, you are helping to support our independent growers.  Below is a list of our bags – please get in touch with us if you are interested in buying a bag for someone this Christmas!

VARB Festive Feast Bag £12.50

Family Bag £11

Senior Citizen Bag £8

If you would like to get involved or find out more about VARB, or if you know anyone that may benefit from this year’s Festive Feast, please contact lisa@varb.org.uk or call 01737 762 115.