Monday, May 19, 2008

The day in which we worked like field hands

Early this morning, the girls and I loaded up the van and headed out for a morning of charity work. We drove over dirt roads and grassy pastures where we parked, put on our rubber boots and got to picking.

In 3 hours, six people of ages 4 to 74 picked about 40 gallons of strawberries. Big beautiful red juicy strawberries. Gorgeous sweet amazing strawberries on enormous breath-taking dark green plants.

The girls were amazing - picking berries, carrying full buckets back and bringing us empty ones, tallying the number of buckets. They were happy and working hard for 3 solid hours and declared it all as "Fun!" and "When can we do this again?!" In the end, we had picked enough strawberries for over 1000 servings and I got asked to be a Head Gleaner for future outings.

The group we worked for today generally gets to go into a field to pick whatever the harvesters left. The place we got to work in today is a agricultural research center so we were the only ones picking after the scientists had gotten their samples (they're trying to see which varieties grow best and produce longest in our soil and climate). These berries were going to a local Meals on Wheels group to be included with tomorrow's deliveries. In general, the food goes to a variety of food banks, shelters, churches, even to designated residents in low-income areas who then distribute it to their neighbors. Food banks specialize in non-perishable food items, but people need fresh food, also, in order to stay healthy.

The whole gleaning thing is a fabulous experience and something anyone can do. There are going to be regular pickings every Tuesday all summer if you live near Charlotte or Salisbury, NC, and would like to join us. Just think, it'll give the kids something to do when they start whining "We're bored" "What else is there to do" "Take us somewhere". I'll try to post it here whenever we go so YOU can plan to com, too!

1 comment:

Nancy said...

Please let me know when the next opportunity comes around. I'd love to do this with my children!