With harvest-related decorations around every corner, but advertisements stealing every glance, it surely is a unique time of year. A time of year when we are able to both give thanks while also enjoying the success of our own endeavors with friends and families. It may be tough to ignore the persistent reminders of the consumer-driven society in which we live, but I ask you to take a step back and think: why this time of year?
My personal answer is the following: this is the time of year after (most) of the hard work of the large, end-of-season, harvest, in which farmers and gardeners alike are able to capture the energy of the land and the processes of nature, and store food for the cold season. Thus, we celebrate! We celebrate a successful year of growing food, we celebrate a successful year at work, and we celebrate the passing of the warmer months in preparation for Father Winter’s harsh arrival.
As gleaners, this time of year is important to us as well. We have been gleaning surplus squash and apples from the cellars and coolers of many farms in the past few weeks, as well as harvesting the last of the roots, greens, and cabbages that are still out in the field. In the month of November alone, we have harvested nearly 20,000 pounds; that is 1/3 of our yearly total! And, through our partnerships with large hunger relief organizations like Food for Free and the Greater Boston Food Bank, as well as with smaller community-run food pantries, we are determined to share this bounty with as many people as possible, so that they may enjoy good, healthy, tasty, local food at this celebratory time of year.
This may not be a typical Gleaning Log entry, but this is not a normal time of year! So, I ask you to please give thanks: whether to your family for having you over for a holiday dinner, or to your local food pantry or shelter for working hard during this busy time of year to ensure that everyone is able to share in the bounty.
Looking forward, there will still be more gleaning in the month of December. There are still plenty of root veggies and maybe even some hearty greens out there, and after many farmers’ last CSA shares go out around Thanksgiving, we hope to glean what’s left in the fields and in storage.
To (what’s left of) the Harvest!
PS Enjoy this classic rendition of The Rolling Stones' Wild Horses by the bluegrass super group Old and In the Way