November 26, 2008

Farm update and gleaning thoughts

A warm wind blew in yesterday and now its raining hard. The landscape is a white and vivid grassy green spotted with treacherous mud. The snow is almost gone. The unharvested transgenic corn field next door is a freaky frankenmess. I lay out a new fence for the girls so they can access a bit of firm green ground and cleaned out the old barn this morning. C.B.'s foot is a bit better.
After reading the article on gleaning, I thought today about the efforts made to organize distribution of excess or specially grown food for low income people in the city. At the markets I've sold at, a Food Bank came to pick up the excess food after closing... if we had it. Turned out often to be wimpy kale and the picked over scabby potatoes. The fields always held plenty of food one could salvage, but less than perfect, and while city folks made the trip out from time to time, I have cringed on the disk or the tiller more often. It takes a very special community to organize the cooperation between farm and city group to establish a gleaning group. There is always a need for more hands. Perhaps a shared purpose and vision is needed.
There are some folks who are getting delightfully organized at gleaning, I was impressed with the amount of food and community effort of Whatcom County Small Potatoes Gleaning Project. Salvation Farm also gleans thousands of lbs.of Organic produce and has some good resources for starting a project.

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