Gleaning is good.

I appreciate when markets can measure how many pounds of food are given to food banks each year by their farmers. Gleaning is another way to use the productivity of the farms in your area. In both cases, markets should assist their farmers in knowing how to record the amount of food their business donates and how they might invite gleaners to their farms without a major disruption to those businesses during harvest season. The markets should also thank those farmers in annual reports or marketing literature, both their own and any beneficiary like the food banks.



  1. We couldn’t be happier in Charlottesville, VA, where the Society of St. Andrew gleans at our Saturday market every week, and distributes unsold produce to soup kitchens, food banks, and churches. I’m so impressed with their hard work — always at the end of a busy market day, and frequently in the HEAT! In 2011, they gleaned over three TONS of produce from our market!

    We also have a new program here in town, where as part of the Discover You Can! program, we’ve taught several low-income residents how to can, provided equipment, and using gleaned produce for all the lessons — then giving away the preserved goodies in their neighborhoods.


    • Hey Kathy!
      I’m so glad you mentioned the Society of St. Andrew, as I ran into them at a conference a few years back and heard about all of the good work they do.
      I guess I was making the distinction between collecting donations from harvested farm goods at market, and actual gleaning which I understood to be the act of going through fields and collecting (from the ground) unharvested food.
      I learned that distinction from the amazing movie “The Gleaners” which I should also have mentioned.



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