What is gleaning

Gleaning is the practice of scavenging produce left in the fields after the farmer has taken all that he/she can or wants. Oftentimes, farmers reach a point of diminishing return and picking too much produce only reduces prices because supply exceeds demand. Perfectly edible, though slightly blemished produce is left in the field since retailers can’t sell it. Other times, migrant workers are only available for a limited time before moving on to pick another crop and when their time is up, whatever is left in the field, stays in the field.

Gleaners arrange with both the farmer to pick the leftover produce and a local food bank or other food-based charity to accept the produce. A recent effort in Windsor resulted in over three tons of butternut squash picked and shipped to Foodshare in less than three hours. For more information, click on the following links.

   Society of St. Andrews    Foodshare