Friday, 17 June 2011

Peas yourself :o)

On Wednesday I set off for another walk, from home. WHAT! Another walk, yep I was itching to go again, I was on a roll, and nothing was going to stop me. I am blessed that we have lovely countryside around here. I have written about Alkborough Flats before, this is where they have built a mud plain, when there is a lot of water about it can enter the breach from the river and flood the land. It is a haven for wildlife, especially birds. My photo reveals how low the water level is at the moment, we are desperately in need of rain. From the bottom of the grassy slope to the river bank should be flooded, it is mostly dry mud and in parts the vegetation has started growing.

Hey look at all the poppies. I could see this field from a long way off, so walked towards it to get the photo's. Isn't it magic.

I did a big circular walk, through four villages, and by the time I got back to my own village the sun had been covered by this amazing cloud.
That's another 13.41 miles under my belt for this week, making a total of 43.78 since Saturday, and that's not including the dog walking.

I bet you are wondering why I have put a bowl of peas in here, I'll tell you. Foraging is picking food from the hedgerows, gleaning is picking food from a field that has already been harvested by the farmer. I didn't know that this is what it is called, till I looked it up.

I was walking along minding my own business when a very strong strange smell reached my nostrils, I was passing a pea field, all the plants had been flattened where the machine had run over them. On closer inspection I noticed that there were still some plants around the edges that the machines had missed. Too good an opportunity to miss I thought, so I filled my plastic bread bag which had previously held my sandwiches.

If I hadn't picked them they would have rotted and been ploughed back into the ground. There is a lot of talk about food waste, and the supermarkets are always a target for blame. But it seems to me that farmers are the biggest food wasters. Why don't they invite people to come and pick over the land once they have taken what they want. This is the definition of gleaning taken from Wikipedia.
The act of collecting left over crops from farmers fields after they have been commercially harvested or on fields where it is not economically profitable to harvest. Some ancient cultures promoted gleaning as an early form of welfare system.

I have googled this and found that in the USA it is common for people to glean what they can. Organised groups go out to pick the food and distribute it to the poor. What a brilliant idea.

I've found this web site which might be of some interest, it sheds a bit more light on it. I can't find anything about it on a UK web site.
Anyone else been gleaning?


  1. I love to glean. Peas (and the pods) & potatoes especially.

    Introduced two of my grandchildren to the pleasures of it last year

    Your first comment on my blog at that time too!!


  2. Mmm, I love raw peas straight from the pod!

  3. It's been years since I've had fresh peas straight from the pod. I used to help my pal pick peas from her dad's garden so we could shell them for to use for dinner. We used to get into trouble a lot though as we would sit and eat most of them whilst picking them, one pod for the basin, one pod for me, one pod for the basin... They're making my mother water, love fresh peas.

  4. There is a wonderful movie called The Gleaners and I - maybe the library can order it for you - it is truly wonderful.
    Here in the States St. Andrews is an organization that gleans. They then distribute to the needy - fields are not open to the public like the farm you mentioned in very many places but food reclamation is quite widespread.
    Freegans here run the gauntlet and go into garbage and dumpsters and get wonderful stuff - I just dont have the nerve to do it.
    Many bakers give the stuff they cant sell away to food banks etc.
    What we dont have is very reduced goods like you do in Tesco.
    The loss leaders and sales are much more frequent here though.
    I remember in Lark Rise to Candleford the gleaners would go through the wheat fields after harvest and were very proud of what they gathered. They called them "leazings" ?

  5. I have never heard of it, but what a fab idea!

  6. We always gleaned when I lived both in Norfolk and Lincolnshire, mainly peas and sweetcorn. It was always fun and free.

  7. I live in the US (Alabama) and have gleaned a bit. I would do more if I could find more places to glean.

  8. Your little cases are lovely, it's good that you are getting some orders and shipping them out all over the world.
    Hi Ilona

    I have taken your bag out but only once or twice - mostly it hangs from a door handle for me and my visitors to admire - and they do!

    I'm not sure what you mean by little cases - I think this comment is intended for someone else!

    BTW, I couldn't reply by email as that wappy aol spam control puzzle wouldn't load :O(

    Jane :O)

  9. Can highly recommend The Gleaners too as Lizzie shows waste in France on many levels and how some ppl live on it.

    Keep up the great work, Ilona xxx

    Sue Caissy


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