Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Gleaning for the hungry

Express Staff Writer

Volunteer gleaners help Hunger Coalition Executive Director Jean Liston, far right, at Ernie’s Organics last weekend.

After the mechanical harvest trucks removed the potatoes from Ernie's Organics farm west of Shoshone, Sept. 27 and 28, Blaine County Hunger Coalition volunteers picked up the leavings by hand.

More than 1,000 pounds leftover potatoes, called gleanings, will be donated by the Hunger Collation to help feed the needy.

Nathan Welch of the Wood River Land Trust organized the farm day. If volunteers had not gleaned the potatoes, they would be left in the fields. The practice of "gleaning" has been an age-old tradition in farming communities for centuries, allowing the harvest to be shared by those in need.

Fred and Judy Brossy's farm produces several varieties of potatoes along with numerous other food crops, as well as organic seed.

"We are very grateful to the volunteers who came out to harvest and glean potatoes for the hungry in our community," Executive Director Jeanne Liston said. "Their efforts are helping to provide food security to those in need while ensuring that food isn't going to waste. The Hunger Coalition hopes to make this an annual, community-wide event."

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