Every year, it seems like our farm gleaning season sneaks up on us out of nowhere. Grocery gleaning gets into a great, easy-to-manage routine during our ‘off-season’ from January and May, then suddenly we’re fielding calls from multiple farmers in a week. So far this year, we’ve been to a number of farms to glean fresh produce at the source:
- Hazelfield Farm in Owen County for green onions
- Salad Days Farm in Woodford County for lettuce and radishes
- UK South Farm in Fayette County for mustard greens and spinach
- Stonehedge Farm in Woodford County for squash, cucumbers, and greens
That last harvest was the biggest of the year so far (and our largest single glean since we gleaned 3,250 pounds of watermelon in October of last year) – on June 12, we picked up 3,135 pounds of great produce from our long-time friends, Adrienne and Jim, at Stonehedge Farm. Turns out, the beehives on their property are parked right next to their squash patch, and great pollination equates to an overabundance of squash (I guess all this rain has helped, too).
With the help of some great volunteers, we had the GleanKY van packed to the gills with produce in under an hour. Whenever we glean this kind of quantity, it can just be easier to take the entire van to get weighed after we’ve loaded it up – thankfully, Woodford Feed Co. is generous with their equipment.
Thanks to the hard work and generosity of Stonehedge farm, by the end of the afternoon, we made deliveries to Food Pantry for Woodford County, Unity Outreach Blessing Boxes, Valley Park, Nathaniel Mission, Maxwell Presbyterian Church, Foodchain, The Nest, Shiloh Baptist, Whitaker YMCA, Goodwill Industries of KY, Lexington Rescue Mission, and God’s Pantry Food Bank. Altogether, we estimate that their food touched over a thousand people throughout Central Kentucky.
This work is impossible without the help of volunteers. If you are interested in being part of this work (there’s really not much more satisfying than packing a van full of produce), we’d love to have you join our Rapid Response Team. Our Rapid Response Gleaners are the first to find out when we have a big glean like this, and make it possible for us to glean tens of thousands of pounds of additional fresh produce each year. To find out more about joining our Rapid Response Team, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or check out this page on our website to get signed up yourself.