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!
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.
It’s here and I’ll be there! Beat the heat, shop till you drop and support local independent crafters at Seattle Center Exhibition Hall this weekend (August 1st and 2nd from 11:00am – 5:00pm).
I will be volunteering on Sunday so stop by and say hi!
Just got an email from the Warm for Winter campaign. It’s time to start crocheting and knitting those hats and scarves for their annual handmade hat and scarf drive. Last year they received 5,967 items!
This year, the goal is to collect over 1,000 hats and scarves by 11/15/2009 (Pacific Fabrics will be collecting again). According to the Warm for Winter website, “The number 1000 represents the number of housing units needed to be created each year to successfully tackle homelessness in King County.”
If you could make a hat week between now and 11/15, you would be able to help 17 people stay warm this winter.
I know it seems strange to think about in this 90 degree weather, but tanning while crocheting sounds fun to me. I’ll be hosting crochet/knit social this fall so stay tuned!
Doing good cannot be done alone. This week Mashable created a How To: Start a petition on Twitter and reviewed four services that allow you to start your own online petition and hopefully gain some interest in your cause:
I like Twibbon myself, as it allows people to add a small image supporting their cause to their Twitter avatar. You can search for a cause to add to your Twitter avatar too.
Fabricshoppersunite.com has launched a new database (in Beta) aimed to help cratfy guys and gals make more of their materials purchases from independent quilt and fabric stores.
Says Project 95, “Did you know that 95 percent of fabric shoppers make their purchases at chain stores? That’s right, only 5 percent shop independents. Let’s change that.” I think everyone knows that shopping inide and local helps communties flourish, but it’s not always easy (I heart Target…).
The site lets you search by area and locate shops on a handy Google map. I quickly located my favorite indie shop in Seattle – Stitches. I wanted to see if could find some in Paris too. Imagine visiting an indie fabric store on you next vacation! You’ll need to know a zip code to get the map going, but I still wasn’t able to find any places in Paris – yet. The project has just released in Beta and I’m excited to watch it evolve.