View All Posts

Jun 04

Gleaning The Bounty of Pierce County

Posted on June 4, 2018 at 11:23 AM by Allan Warren

KWAglean_print_photo credit jefferson mok
The Gleaning Project has enabled hundreds of volunteers to donate over 200,000lbs of fresh fruit and vegetables to local food banks since 2013! Photo Credit: Jefferson Mok

Sun warming your back as cool sweat drips down your outstretched arm. The apple tucked in the dampened light of the trees crown is hanging just beyond your grasp. Standing on the ladder from this perspective you can see it is ripened to perfection. You hear the chatter and laughter below as a group of harvesters collect the low hanging fruit. With a final stretch you grab it and pull it from the tree and harvest another apple into an already filled bag. This is gleaning at its finest. 

 
Join us at the Gleaning Kickoff Party and learn how to become a volunteer with the Gleaning Program! Click here for more info. 
 

Aaron WomackGleaning is the ancient practice of collecting leftover produce after commercial harvest. For centuries field gleaning has been a valuable resource for people looking to gather the leftover bounty of the season. Harvest Pierce County’s Gleaning Project has been harvesting the local abundance of Pierce County since 2013. Devoted volunteers have collected over 200,000lbs of produce from backyard fruit trees, farm fields, and market leftovers!

For his years of dedication as a Gleaning Program volunteer and leader, Aaron Womack, seen here gleaning apples for local food banks, was recognized as the District's Volunteer of the Year award at this Spring’s Conservation Celebration.

This season to expand the harvest and strengthen food sovereignty in Pierce County we have changed our organizational structure and are looking for neighborhood managers to lead gleaning events. These ‘branch leaders’ will work closely with the Harvest Pierce County team. They are responsible for leading urban fruit harvests and scouting fruit trees in their region to assure the fruit is ripe for the picking. In addition, Branch Leaders are responsible for assuring the produce gets dropped off to local food banks of their choice.

Since all volunteers get to take home a portion of the harvest, Branch Leaders have access to fresh and hyper-local fruit all season long! Branch Leaders are provided extensive educational opportunities including pest and disease identification and propagating the best cultivars of Pierce County! This is the perfect opportunity for people who like to preserve food while also giving back to the community. We ask that Branch Leaders be available on a consistent day and can commit to the entire season. Branch Leaders are provided up to a $200 stipend for the season and mileage reimbursement.