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Sharing the Harvest

by Michael Ford last modified 31 Jul, 2020 05:18 PM

Many of our parishes are rural, and regularly embrace growing produce to donate or sell. But urban parishes are following suit, not least as a result of lockdown.

In Harnham, Salisbury, a new initiative is literally bearing fruit and growing a sense of being good neighbours.

Churchwarden Charles Woodd explains:

"Harnham is full of gardeners who have been extra busy during lockdown, enjoying the good weather in their gardens and allotments. This led to the idea of setting up a scheme to enable those lucky enough to have a surplus of fresh fruit and vegetables to share it with other local residents.

"Harnham Harvest Table was born partly as a way of sharing the fruits of the earth more efficiently, and partly as a way of building on the burgeoning of neighbourliness that has been such a silver lining to the Covid-19 cloud.

"Harnham Neighbourhood Association, Harnham Community Network and Harnham Parish have worked on this together. Every Saturday till the end of September, we are inviting people to bring their surplus produce to the field beside our Parish Hall in the centre of Harnham in the morning, and for any local residents to come and collect what they can use, in the afternoon.

"Last Saturday saw 2 tables full of everything from courgettes to red gooseberries virtually disappear by the end of the day. Volunteers, producers and consumers of all ages came from across the length and breadth of Harnham. Who knows what we will have to offer next week?

"If the project is successful, we hope to offer a model that others could follow. We are also planning a recipe book, as people are already sharing recipes for the many and varied produce that we hope will come our way."

Vicar Becky Roberts is delighted with the proceedings. She says:

"I am very proud of this project which brings the whole community together working for the good of all, with the aim to SHARE."

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