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Coronavirus: Lottery-winning farmer gives away potatoes to self-isolating families

Coronavirus: Lottery-winning farmer gives away potatoes to self-isolating families

A farmer gave away her crop of potatoes to families self-isolating at home after hearing how “selfish” shoppers had emptied supermarkets. Susan Herdman offered the hand-picked vegetables from her 27-acre plot free of charge to the residents of Boroughbridge, North Yorkshire, in a post on Facebook. Ms Herdman and her family then spent all weekend delivering the

A farmer gave away her crop of potatoes to families self-isolating at home after hearing how “selfish” shoppers had emptied supermarkets.

Susan Herdman offered the hand-picked vegetables from her 27-acre plot free of charge to the residents of Boroughbridge, North Yorkshire, in a post on Facebook.

Ms Herdman and her family then spent all weekend delivering the potatoes to those in need, including a home for disabled children and a single mother who went into quarantine.


The 51-year-old also placed a large bag in the town for people to help themselves and offered time slots for families to come to the farm and pick their own.

She said she had been inundated with messages of support such as: “In a world so dark and selfish, you have made us smile”.

“To me, it’s not a big thing, we’re just giving away potatoes,” she said. “I don’t understand selfish people, I’ve been a giver all my life.

“And hopefully it proves that farmers aren’t that tight. It’s lovely that I can make people smile by doing this.”

Ms Herdman moved to live on the farm after winning £1.2m on the National Lottery in 2010 and giving up her former career running a hair salon in Hertfordshire.

She said that the potato crop would otherwise have been ploughed back into the land because heavy rain earlier this year had delayed the harvest.

“We had 27 acres of potatoes in the land but, because we had all that rain, it was too wet to get on the field to lift them,” she explained.

“It’s very, very late for potatoes to still be in the field so we went in by hand.

“I thought: we can’t plough them back in the land, with all the people stockpiling and the shortage of food in supermarkets, let’s share them free of charge and give them away.

“I just put a post on the local Boroughbridge Facebook page and it spiralled out of control.

“I delivered all day Saturday and all day Sunday, from 8am to 8pm. I have back ache, leg ache, had to pick them all by hand.”

Additional reporting by Press Association

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