It is clear that this has been a tough growing season for many farmers, and this has translated to some slow times for the Gleaners. Since you last heard from me (July 10), we have only been out gleaning a handful of times. A lot of these trips have actually been pickups and not harvest trips. We have gone on three gleaning trips with volunteers in the past month: one each to Brigham Farm, Gore Place Farm, and Weir River Farm. I have also picked up on five separate occasions from the cooler at Gore Place. The food donated during this time been the usual suspects of mid-summer vegetables: kale, cabbage, peas, summer squash/zucchini, peppers, cucumbers, and eggplants.
I attribute the difficult growing season to the funky Spring and Summer we had. If you remember, it was a very dry early Spring and a very wet late Spring, and then all that rain transitioned to very hot and dry weather for most of June and July. Now, we are experiencing significantly cooler and wet temperatures. This strange weather seems to be giving a lot of farmers troubles with pests and other diseases.
However, have hope! Soon the corn harvest will be upon us, and hopefully that will come in strong for farmers. If not, we always have the hearty roots and second round of greens in Autumn to fall back on. In the meantime, I will be reaching out to as many farmers as I can to try to spread our efforts. I strongly encourage you all to try and volunteer your time to a local farm, as they can always use extra help, especially during such a troublesome season!
As a beacon of hope, I have included a link to the song “King Harvest (Has Surely Come)” by The Band below. I know that the lyrics describe a harvest that is already upon us, but I hope to get the energy of a bountiful harvest out there by listening to and sharing this song!
To the Harvest!
P.S. If you have any recommendations of farmers that I should contact, please do not hesitate to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.