Happy Summer! It has been a busy early summer/late spring for us, which you may know already if you follow us on Facebook. It seems that the weather so far this growing season has been great for growing all varieties of greens – so far in 2014 we have harvested and donated 1,755 pounds (148.5 bushels) of kale, mizuna, bok choy, tat soi, arugula, salad mix, and other cooking and salad greens, and we have gleaned an additional 700 pounds of greens and other early spring crops from our pickups of unsold produce at the Arlington Farmers’ Market every Wednesday. Our expansion to the North Shore has also been successful so far this season, with 3 gleaning trips in that region and deliveries to Beverly Bootstraps and Haven From Hunger in Peabody.
Once we get our new refrigerated storage unit installed in the next couple of weeks, we will be able to glean and deliver more fresh produce to our partner pantries. Currently we are going straight from farm to pantry, which prohibits us from serving pantries whose schedules do not align with our gleaning schedule. With this operational improvement, we can glean on Friday, store the produce overnight, and deliver it Saturday morning to some of the smaller pantries that serve their communities and do not storage space.
As the days get warmer, expect a number of gleaning alerts for more greens, including lettuce (a crop that is very sensitive to heat), and soon enough summer squash, cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, and other popular summer crops. We are already averaging 1-2 gleaning trips per week, and soon we may start doing 3-4 trips! So keep your eyes on your emails if you are interested in volunteering with us out in the fields.
To the Harvest!
PS To honor the start of a new gleaning season, as well as a new album and summer tour by the band Phish, listen to this great live version of their song “Back on the Train” from 2011. It’s only 6 minutes long – a short jam for Phish!