This past month has been very busy for us, which is a very good thing! And it doesn’t look to be slowing down anytime soon. Since the end of August and through all of September, we have been going on an average of 4 gleaning trips each week!
The crop we harvested the most during September, both in terms of poundage and number of cases, was apples; we picked 8,840 pounds in 221 cases at two farms: Kimball Fruit Farm in Pepperell, MA and The Food Project in Lincoln, MA. We harvested a good amount of peaches (1,600 pounds), corn (2,400 pounds), and various kinds of greens (1,209) during September, as well.
This year was a bit different from last year in terms of what we have been harvesting. Last year by this time, we had picked 219.5 cases (7,585 lbs) of corn. So far this year we have only picked corn on 4 separate occasions (compared with 11 corn harvests by this time last year), for a total of 4,960 pounds in 124 cases. But, last year by this time we had only picked apples twice, for a total of 1,400 pounds! It really is interesting how small changes in seasonal weather can really affect a harvest of a specific crop, among other things.
Looking forward, we hope to continue to harvest well through October, November, and December, so long as Father Winter doesn’t decide to come early this year. As of late, we have been getting a lot of calls for greens of different varieties (including chard, kale, bok choy, mustard greens, arugula, and some cabbage), which are a nutritious crop that pantries love. We also look forward to a few more apple picking trips this October. And then in November and December we will start to see more root vegetables (such as carrots, beets, turnips, etc.) become available to glean.
Thanks for reading, and, as we say, To the Harvest!
Matt Crawford, Gleaning Coordinator