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Thu May 20, 2010
Modern Gleaners: An Edible Minute
When the farmer shuts down his combine, there’s nothing left but a stubbled plain. You might think the harvesting is done. But that’s when the gleaners appear - to begin the second harvest.
Like the Robin Hoods of produce, the gleaners take from the rich soil, and give to the poor. But the gleaners aren’t vegetable pirates. They work with and alongside the farmers:
You gotta carry buckets with you through the fields, picking up small things. You’re constantly bent over on your knees for the whole day.
That’s Nicole Phillips, who organizes the gleaning effort for the New Hampshire Food Bank. Every Sunday during the harvest, she mobilizes a group of 10 to 30 volunteers.
A lot of these people are office-type people and they know that produce is gonna end up in the hands of the very less fortunate than them. It’s a feel-good thing for them.
Last year the gleaners gathered 8000 pounds of potatoes and 5000 pounds of squash. All of it distributed through the Food Bank’s network of food pantries, soup kitchens, and shelters.