Resources for setting up and developing your Gleaning group

6. Equipment

Essential equipment for every glean

  • First Aid Kit one HSE complaint First Aid Kit 20 person
  • Hang Scales (and a strong bag to decant into from a crate to measure)
    • We weigh 3 crates or sacks and average the weight (and multiply this by the number of sacks/crates)

What to bring on a glean

Check with the farmer to see what equipment they recommend for harvesting and storing the produce and what you can borrow from them directly

You may also want to bring your beneficiaries into this, as ideally, you should be able to use containers or pallets owned by the charities you are donating the produce to. 

Here are some items you may need for your glean:

Harvesting equipment

Harvesting knives

Larger knives are useful for vegetables like cabbages and cauliflowers. Smaller serrated knives are better for leeks and broccoli

Cut resistant gloves

Cut resistant gloves are required if using knives. We recommend that any gleans involving the use of knives should only opened up to over 18s

A plastic crate

For storing the knives and gloves. Make sure this has a lid and is placed somewhere obvious during a glean so knives that are not being used can be placed back into the box.

Fruit picking baskets

Good for apples and pears but not essential. Fruit farmers have an abundance of these which you may be able to borrow.

Storage equipment

Stack-able plastic crates

The best way to pack and stack produce so that it stores well. It is likely the farm or beneficiary have these which you may be able to borrow. If not, try your local supermarket.

Netted bags

Useful for robust vegetables like potatoes and carrots but not good for delicate fruits and vegetables. However, they are not particularly reusable

Small punnets

Perfect for soft fruit, you may also need plastic crates to store the punnets in. These are fairly cheap to buy, but again, check if the farmer has any old ones


For pallets, shrink wrap is useful to wrap around a stack crates or sacks to secure them. Farmers often have old pallets they are willing to provide.

Large fruit bins

Useful for apples, pears and potatoes as they can hold a lot of fruit. Farmers may be willing to donate their older bins, or lend as an intermediary to get from A to B. You will need assistance from the farmer to get these bins into your van

Tonne bags

Great for pumpkin season to store bulkier and larger crops. You need to make sure the farmer is willing to help transport these onto the vans

Food Waste Fact

The global food system is responsible for up to 30% of total GHG emissions (IPCC 2019)

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