Volunteers from Community Harvest ventured out early Sunday to collect food from both an apple orchard and a corn field. The duel harvest took place outside Quincy, WA. The crew first went to an orchard and were able to harvest over 165 lbs of apples in just over 25 minutes! The fruit was beautiful, just not the right color for the warehouse. In addition to being a great way to get food to folks who need it, this brief harvest was a great educational opportunity for the high school students. One said, “Really, this apple is gorgeous, it won’t be sold for full price? That seems silly.” Next the gleaners drove to George, WA to a large corn field to harvest nearly 700 lbs of sweet corn! The crew donned apple picking baskets to make harvesting the corn easier. None of the volunteers had ever been in a corn field before and everyone was excited to outside on a clear, blue sky day! With all the hard working volunteers this part of the glean only took about an hour. Again, conversations about food justice helping our community be as self sufficient as possible dominated as everyone was excited to be making an impact. At the end of the glean many of the students pledged ongoing support for the project. Gleaning is truly an experience that everyone benefits from; the more we all know about our food the more food secure our communities will be. In total Community Harvest was able to salvage close to 1000 lbs of food in a few hours!
Some of Eastern Washington’s main crops; tree fruit, onions, corn and potatoes are just starting to come on strong. Community Harvest has recruited some new and engaged volunteers from the local high schools and the organization is ready to get out and glean!