Although the fruit and vegetable growing season ended long ago for most farmers, we have still been gleaning up until this past weekend (January 13), when we gleaned the last of the apples that were in storage at Kimball Fruit Farm in Pepperell. We sorted and boxed them up, put them on pallets, and the Merrimack Valley Food Bank and the Greater Boston Food Bank will pick them up sometime this week. With this final trip, our total amount gleaned from this growing season reached 94,000 pounds of food!
Now that the gleaning fieldwork is done, my work will shift to two main categories of office work: follow-up and outreach. I will be following up with farmers and pantries to see how well we served them this year, and then reaching out, developing materials, and attending agricultural events to attract new farmers, pantries, and volunteers to our work. I have already tabled at one such event; this past weekend I attended and exhibited at the Northeast Organic Farming Association of Massachusetts (NOFA-Mass) Winter Conference. My time was well spent talking with farmers (some who had heard of us, and some who had not), as well as signing up new volunteers and learning about nascent gleaning programs across the state.
I hope to see most of you at our upcoming Volunteer Party on February 9 (details coming soon)! In the meantime, I will do my best to keep you updated with what’s going on here at 240 Beaver St.
To the Harvest!
PS Please check out this traditional folk tune, very fitting for today's weather:
"Cold Rain and Snow" performed live by the Peter Rowan and Tony Rice Quartet