Image for Meet the ‘gleaners’: new issue of Positive News leads on the people putting leftover crops to good use

Meet the ‘gleaners’: new issue of Positive News leads on the people putting leftover crops to good use

The latest issue also reports on the radical recruitment firm making society more equal, the 100-ft sailboat helping those experiencing mental illness to heal, and the boom in community growers transforming tiny overlooked spaces into abundant veg gardens, says acting editor Daisy Greenwell

The latest issue also reports on the radical recruitment firm making society more equal, the 100-ft sailboat helping those experiencing mental illness to heal, and the boom in community growers transforming tiny overlooked spaces into abundant veg gardens, says acting editor Daisy Greenwell

I found myself on an allotment this week, feeling deeply moved by the years of love and devotion that had been poured into the neat rows of runner beans and sweet pea trellises. I get a similar feeling watching the London Marathon – all those waves of sweating people pushing themselves to their limits. 

Concerted human effort, for a cause beyond ourselves, is the most beautiful marker of our species. And it’s what links all the stories in the July-September issue of Positive News magazine.

For our cover story about the gleaning groups springing up across the country, we meet the volunteers who are reviving this ancient practice of gathering leftover crops after harvest. It’s a small act that’s addressing some of the biggest issues we face today: the cost of living crisis, a broken food system driving climate change, and widespread but often hidden hunger. 

Then there’s the radical recruitment firm that’s quietly revolutionising who gets on the payroll of Britain’s most prestigious employers, by using a new algorithm that identifies talented people from disadvantaged backgrounds. 

Or what about the 100ft tall ship, currently sailing the Cornish coast with an onboard therapist, chef and crew of people experiencing mental health difficulties? It’s one trip of many this year organised by Sea Sanctuary, a charity whose founder overcame a childhood spent in a children’s home to pioneer the emerging field of ‘blue health’. 

The stories in this issue show the power of what can be achieved with the simple tools available to all of us

And then there are the people transforming tiny neglected patches of land across the UK – from a rubbish-filled alleyway to a busy roundabout – into abundant vegetable & wildflower gardens.

They, and all the stories in this issue, show the power of what can be achieved with the simple tools available to all of us: some grit, some compassion and a vision to change things for the better. 

There’s so much going wrong – the climate emergency, the war in Ukraine, the cost of living – but the stories in this issue are a reminder that we are not powerless in the face of them. We can all make a difference, even if it starts with just a row of sweet peas swarming with bees.

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