During the past few weeks, most gleaning trips have been post-harvest pick-ups. In this type of gleaning scenario, farmers have crops in storage that they no longer wish to store, so they donate them instead of composting. This may happen because a farmer knows that a particular wholesale market is saturated with enough of a particular crop and they won’t be able to sell theirs; or their product could be slightly lower quality than what they typically are able to sell. Either way, it results in a lot of gleaned produce for us! We have gleaned 7,940 pounds by this method so far this December! Most of this weight has consisted of apples and winter squash (of all varieties), but we have also been able to pick up some parsnips and beets, among other root vegetables.
We have been trying to get the last few crops out of the field, but this cold December has been preventing us from harvesting a lot of the veggies that remain out there. However, we hope to still be able to harvest some greens (such as kale and collards) from one or two farms before Christmas; greens can bounce back and be of great quality on a day when the temperature is above freezing and the sun is shining.
We still have a lot of apples to pick up from Kimball Fruit Farm in Pepperell and a lot of winter squash to pick up from Verrill Farm in Concord, so don’t forget to check your emails for gleaning alerts! We’re not done yet!
To the Harvest!