The Societal Ramifications & Consequences of the Making and Taking of Food

This site dedicated to the matters of food above and beyond the mere satiation of flavors on one's palette; but rather the ramifications to society from the consequences of how its' production, distribution, and nutrition affect living systems. How we sow, reap, harvest, legislate and base our economic systems on food is key to how we ultimately treat each other and the Earth.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Gleaning and Foraging Groups in California

This piece about gleaning and foraging groups in California first appeared in the most recent e-newsletter from the Northern California chapter of Buy Fresh Buy Local Campaign, a project of the Community Alliance with Family Farmers. To sign up for the monthly e-newsletter, visit the Buy Fresh Buy Local website.
Got a cherry tree you just can’t keep up with? A neighbor that never harvests their lemons? What if we could turn all that fallen fruit into good food? That’s exactly what community groups, farmer associations, and activist foodies throughout California (and beyond) are doing, as reported by the New York Times recently. They’re the gleaners, and they’re feeding their communities and saving the world one perfectly good plum at a time.

The Lemon Lady of Contra Costa is Anna Chan of Clayton (left), who has embarked on a “one woman and toddler fruit harvesting campaign to feed the hungry.” She collects produce from backyard trees and farmers markets to donate to food pantries. The North Berkeley Harvest group coordinates regular pick-ups of excess backyard fruit and donates it to local meal programs, and Petaluma Bounty likewise collects surplus fresh produce from backyards, farms, and businesses. Village Harvest organizes fruit tree gleaning throughout the Bay Area, and offers information and resources on fruit tree care and preservation as well. In San Francisco, the Free Farm Stand gives out fresh local food free of charge every Sunday. “We want to make sure those on tight budgets and low incomes have access to good, local organic food as well,” says Tree, who started the project last summer.