Conservation Corner

Dec 01

[ARCHIVED] End of Season Report from the Gleaning Project

The original item was published from December 1, 2015 9:43 AM to December 1, 2015 9:44 AM

Gleaning ReportFrom June to November, 103 Harvest Pierce County volunteers attended 96 harvests with the Gleaning Project, capturing a total of 44,619lbs of produce that would have otherwise gone to waste. The overall harvest this year included everything from beets, squash, and beans, to figs, strawberries, and even kiwi!

Gleaners get to experience not only the different edibles that come with each season, but also our county’s wide range of food-producing terrain. We’ve harvested in the wild beauty of an abandoned orchard that’s become an agricultural research station. We’ve made our way through rows of corn planted by a third generation farmer. We’ve picked hundreds of pounds of pears and persimmons from a yard filled with trees that had been lovingly tended and passed down through generations in one family. We’ve harvested from commercial farms, homesteads, backyards, parks, and gardens.

Corn Glean_childThe land’s abundance exists in stark contrast to the fact that one in five Washingtonians rely on food banks. Food that is trucked from across the country and shipped from around the world is both financially and environmentally expensive, creating a situation where food is plentiful but only within reach of those who can afford it. With the Gleaning Project, volunteers harvest the nutritious bounty all around us, making healthy food that is both carbon neutral and free available to all community members, regardless of their income.

Every pound of our 44,619lb total has been picked, loaded, and delivered by our dedicated volunteers. Gleaners bring produce to food banks, community groups, shelters, hot meal sites, and schools, to name a few. The Gleaning Project strengthens community members’ connection to the environment and to each other as we work together to bring the bounty of the land to meet the need of our neighbors.