Free Food at The Cornerstone

Published in Charlbury Chronicle December 2020

What a terrific display of generosity we’ve seen at The Cornerstone this summer with people bringing down their spare garden produce for anyone else to take and enjoy. I hope that everyone who used to come to my Big Apple Take-Aways on the Playing Close has managed to get to The Cornerstone instead to take some of the 36 varieties of apples, together with plums, pears and quinces. The Thank You heart on the wall reveals the names of about 90 people who have provided the bounty of food since the beginning of August – heartfelt thanks to all of you. Even though we couldn’t get apples from some previous locations, I did pick apples from more trees in Charlbury than ever before. My highlight of the season was finding a very old Ribston Pippin tree in Stonesfield - I’ve been searching for this famous parent of the Cox’s Orange Pippin ever since I started picking apples in 2008 – hopefully we can continue to pick this again each year.

Now in the winter, what other food waste can we prevent? I think all of us are likely to find packets of food in our store cupboards we’d totally forgotten about and won’t actually get around to using, but don’t despair – someone else might well be inspired to use them, so please take them down to The Cornerstone at the Corner House. Even if they are past the printed Best Before date, this doesn’t matter, this date is not for health and safety reasons but just advisory for taste and texture and the consumer needs to use their own discretion. The Best Before date is a major cause of food being wasted unnecessarily, so it is great to be able to have this opportunity in Charlbury to share out food that might otherwise be wasted – pop down and see what you can glean.

Christine Elliott
Charlbury Green Hub