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'Help yourself' - farmer gives away tonnes of onions damaged by heatwave

A Norfolk farmer is giving away 40 tonnes of onions after the heatwave left them unable to be harvested for supermarkets.

Tim Young says the recent record temperatures have made a small proportion of his crop susceptible to disease issues at Grange Farm in Hockwold, near Thetford.

It means he has two acres, about 10pc of his crop, which cannot be harvested due to the risk to the onions in his stores.

But most of the onions left in the field are healthy and edible - so he has issued an invitation to "come and help yourself" to avoid them going to waste.

After tweeting his appeal at the weekend, there has been a steady stream of "gleaners" visiting the farm, which is part of the G's Growers group.

And Mr Young is also talking to charities to find other ways to get the food to where it is needed, amid the cost of living crisis.

He said: "We manage diseases every year, but when you have temperatures up to 40 degrees, it just goes rife. The heat got into the weakened plants and made it so a proportion of them are really unharvestable.

"We have two acres here full of really lovely onions, but we cannot get them into store or sell them to the supermarkets.

"If we put them into store I run the risk of the bad ones making the good ones bad.

"We have never had a situation where we knowingly had to leave good onions out there in the field, so we wanted to make it available to people to come and help themselves.

"I am having conversations with a couple of charities to see if we can do anything else to help the homeless, or people in need.

"We are in a cost of living crisis, so anything we can do to help those who feel vulnerable, we'll do it. It is a tiny gesture from our part, but hopefully it is something people can benefit from."


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