Anyone can glean! Please note that the work is outdoors and can be physically demanding for some. We encourage groups to get involved in our gleaning trips like schools and churches. In some cases transportation is available for school groups. In other cases carpooling is an option. We will send out emails to our list of volunteers when there is an opportunity. Hopefully we can give a week's notice!
Last month in August and this month, thousands of pounds of tomatoes were gleaned by many on the west side of the Connecticut in Whately. Because of a bumper crop that managed to avoid the blight but was too soft for production, the tomatoes had to be gleaned.
More than five different trips were made to the farm where people from All Saints Church in South Hadley, some families from Sunderland and Holyoke and individual volunteers showed up. We were able to get at least four car fulls and more out to pantries such as Kate's Kitchen and Not Bread Alone in Amherst and survival centers in Franklin and Hampshire Counties this month.
There is more where that came from in the coming months. Please join us!
for more information, or to let us know if you have something to glean, our e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org....
How Much so Far.....
As of 10/17/09, over 7886 lbs of food has been gleaned in Franklin and Hampshire Counties.
Plenty more where that came from!
The USDA estimates that 20% of all food grown in this country is wasted because it is either missed during mechanical harvesting or is not commercially viable.
Join us! Click on the Photo to Volunteer
Gleaners yesterday, gleaners today....
Gleaning is the act of collecting leftover crops from farmers' fields after they have been commercially harvested or on fields where it is not economically profitable to harvest. Some ancient cultures promoted gleaning as a way to maximize the fruits of the fields whether it be grapes or vegetables or fruit. Gleaning is the second to last step in the cycle of food. The seed is planted, nurtured, harvested and what is left over is gleaned and distributed. Gleaning continues to be a way to feed the world.
What are these people doing??
The Gleaners, Francois Manet, 1857
This project is sponsored by various groups in western Mass including Rachael's Table in Springfield, ValleyLocavore in Northampton, the Franklin County Task Force of Franklin County and The Food Bank. Jessica Harwood of Rachael's Table began the project several years ago.