My phone is beginning to ring much more often, my inbox is brimming with unread emails, and I find myself voice dictating replies to text messages into my cell while I’m driving. It must be spring! It is very exciting to be heading toward my first full season as Glean Kentucky’s Central Kentucky Field Coordinator.
In spite of the pandemic, gleaning continued mostly uninterrupted through 2020. In fact, our volunteer numbers have steadily been increasing and for the first time in memory, we are generally booked out a week in advance for Lexington scheduled gleanings.
I have high hopes for this growing season. For very obvious reasons we just did not have many opportunities to get volunteers out on farms and harvest produce. Hopefully it will be a little safer for producers to have us out in their fields again. Only time will tell, though. And it may still be too soon with a potential 4th wave of coronavirus infection looming.
Even if we can’t get back out into the fields harvesting, though, Farmers’ Markets are opening across the region and starting toward the end of next month, we’ll be visiting several every week including the Sunday Lexington Farmers’ Market on Southland Dr., Bluegrass Farmers’ Market and the Woodford and Franklin County Farmers’ Markets among others. The Farmers’ Markets last year allowed us to maintain our connections to producers during the onset of the pandemic even though we couldn’t visit them on the farm. We may have to depend heavily on the Markets in that way again this season, but I’ve got my fingers crossed that we’ll at least have a few more opportunities to get out and harvest in 2021.
If you are interested in being part of our Rapid Response Team, please let me know! This will enable us to let you know when on-farm opportunities arise by sending you a text when we begin to get requests from producers to come and harvest. You can feel free to email me at email@example.com if you want to make sure that we have you on the list!
I look forward to seeing you all outside!!!