Our season has begun to look more optimistic since you last heard from me, with 1066 pounds of food donated in the past week!
Duck Caldwell, our Executive Director, and five other volunteers drove out to Hubbardston, MA last Sunday to harvest peaches from High Meadow Farm, an organic diversified farm. 400 pounds of organic peaches were donated that day to Pine Street Inn in Boston.
The next day, Duck went to Gore Place Farm in Waltham for a post-harvest pick-up of 210 pounds of a mix of the usual suspects of summer vegetables, including peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, and eggplants. All of this fresh picked produce was then donated in Waltham to the Waltham Salvation Army and Jewish Family and Children’s Service; now, that’s keeping it local!
This past Saturday, eight volunteers and I took a trip down to beautiful Brookwood Community Farm in Milton and Canton, MA. While there, we harvested 456 pounds of mixed veggies, including over 100 pounds each of tomatoes, string beans, and chard! All of this food was then donated to Food for Free in Cambridge.
Despite all of this good news, it still seems to be a tough growing season for farmers out there. Late blight, the fungal disease that was to blame for the Great Irish Potato Famine, has been wreaking havoc on tomato crops in the area. All of this cool, damp weather is perfect for the spores of this disease to spread. This means that a lot of farmers are in recovery mode and may have too much going on to be able to schedule a gleaning trip with us. And this is for good reason, as this article from Cornell University indicates how devastating late blight can be: Late Blight article (.pdf). So be thankful for the local tomatoes that you are eating this summer! They have taken a lot of work to grow.
Nevertheless, I am optimistic that this week was a good sign of things to come! So, please, keep your heads up, and offer your help to local farmers if you can’t go gleaning! And listen to this soothing song by Bonobo to keep your spirits high in hopes of bountiful days to come!