What is gleaning?
Gleaning is the act of allocating and collecting a little extra harvest for those in need. Wikipedia explains the long and interesting history of gleaning, noting that it is a practice that has existed for thousands of years.
Today, gleaning can help provide fresh and local fruits and vegetables to local food banks and those in need. Several community groups offer ways for everyone to get involved in gleaning .
Here are three quick ways, even non-green thumbs can help by gleaning fruit trees:
- If you have a fruit tree, let a gleaning organization know about your tree. You can pick the fruit yourself to donate to a gleaning organization, or have some volunteers come to your tree to pick the fruit
- If you don’t have a fruit tree, plant a fruit tree in your yard. After time, it will be ready to harvest (see #1)
- If you don’t have a yard, volunteer with a gleaning organization to help pick fruit around your neighborhood
Get started with a gleaning group in your area. Here are two Seattle gleaning groups:
Seattle: Lettuce Link
West Seattle: Gleanit.org
“You should always to talk to people who are different from you.
Because when you get to know someone, you can’t kill that person.
And when you can’t kill that person, you can’t let your government kill that person either.”
Sue McGann, Lettuce Link’s Marra Farm Coordinator, told us (a group from Seattle Works) that story before we started our Saturday volunteering at Marra Farm. Pretty heavy thought for a day spent mostly weeding artichoke beds. But Marra Farm is doing a lot more than just growing vegetables.
Marra Farm started out as an Italian family farm in the early 1900’s. When the Marra family stopped working the land, they gave it to the city, under one condition – it remain land for community farming forever. And it is – with the help of many non-profits and volunteers. Nearby schoolchildren learn have their own little plots, families grow their own food and community members take the harvest to local food banks.
Did I mention Marra Farm is located about 20 minutes from downtown Seattle? There are many opportunities to learn about the farm and get involved with the many organizations that support it. I hope to back at the farm soon!
This amazing fence art project was led by Outdoor Knit to bring attention to an empty, deserted lot in her neighborhood.
The saddest part is I think many neighborhoods (I can name a few in Seattle – ahem Pike & Pine) have spaces like this just sitting there with their coldness sucking the life out of a community. Many are staying empty for a long time as developers abandon shiny condo projects.
And when citizens have real ideas to at least have some temporary events to bring some life to the dead concrete lots, it’s hard to understand why cities just fence ’em up for years!? Grrrr…
Last year when my friend had her baby I dreamed of making her a “hippie quilt.” She’s very into nature and sustainability and all those good things. The pattern was shared by Lizzy Dish.
Remember when I posted about the Warm for Winter handmade hat and scarf drive and said if we started making one item per week until the September 15th deadline that we’d each be able to help 17 people? At the time, I didn’t actually make the commitment to start crocheting, so I didn’t actually start crocheting.
Now it’s time to commit.
My new crafty goal:
Crochet 20 items (hats or scarves) by September 15th.
I’ve calculated that I’ll need to make about 2 items per week and so far I’m about half-way done with my first scarf…
Hopefully I’ll have some pics of finished projects projects posted soon!
I’ve been noticing more and more companies promoting happiness and small acts of goodness lately. And I love it! Here’s a great example from Kodak. They’re sponsoring two guys, the “Compliment Guys” to be exact, to drive the around the East Coast giving people (and animals apparently) free compliments. They dub their travels the “Brightside Tour” complete with website, youtube videos and twitter. Here’s a video of them giving free compliments in NYC.