December was a tease but January delivers! New Years Eve found me with a welcomed email from my good friend Sandi Newman, NE Florida Gleaning Coordinator for Society of St. Andrew. Citrus gleaning is occupying the month which means multiple opportunities to help those in need. For students this is a great way to satisfy your volunteer hours and for family/friends a chance to spend quality time together for a worthy cause.
This Saturday (1/5/13) we will be in Satsuma, FL picking grapefruit, oranges and tangerines. For new gleaners this means 1) wear a hard hat and/or be very alert because falling grapefruit is hard on the dome, 2) snippers and blankets will be in order as falling tangerines explode on impact and 3) sampling some of the best citrus you will ever taste.
Satsuma is one hour south of Jacksonville off of US-17. I will have address confirmation later today but as always I can travel with the Tahoe which means I can seat nine. Reach out to me via Twitter (@iambwf) or comment on this post if you would like information on participation. For all “friends” Facebook, call or text me.
The rest of the January calendar is below. My only weekend of no gleaning will be January 12th as Chris Gandy and I will be up in Caesar’s Head, SC.
Saturday, January 12: Picking citrus fruit in Mandarin/Scott Mill area
Monday, January 21: Picking citrus in Jacksonville or Green Cove Springs
Saturday, January 26: City-wide Citrus Drive with Second Harvest North Florida food bank. There will be 5 locations in Jacksonville to drop off citrus or to volunteer to help pick citrus from backyard trees.
There are also gleanings going on Wednesdays in the Arlington/GrovePark areas and on Thursdays in Orange Park/Fleming Island/Middleburg. Please ask! And remember, you can make a direct impact by talking to neighbors who have citrus trees who might not be using all their produce. If you see any homes while traveling which might be gleaning candidates, but you do not want to make contact with them, let me know the address/location and I can stop by to ask if they would be willing to donate their yield.
Gleaning is back with a vengance! Well, for me it is. Unfortunately the opportunities have recently been solely weekday, so when Sandi sent the email asking us to be at the ready for this past Saturday my wife and I blocked out the time. The morning was spent at the KYV farm off of 16A which is near World Golf Village. It was a beautifully crisp Saturday and the first vegetable glean. Our target crop was green beans and while a bit less demanding than picking citrus there was considerable effort needed to maneuver through the bushes so that we did not destroy the entire plan.
Adding to the joy of working the land again was a fact I would learn latter: this land is owned by a friend’s brother! Nice to be part of that circle. Our responsibility was a delivery to Waste Not Want Not and our yield for them was 53 pounds. I have no idea whether that is good or bad harvest but it sure looked like a lot of beans! Here is the email from Sandi letting us know how successful the day was as well as what opportunities are upcoming.
Good morning gleaners! Last Saturday, 14 volunteers enjoyed a breezy morning in the bean field, picking 300 lbs. of tender, delicious green beans. We’re returning to the farm this Wednesday morning at 8:30 to see if we can harvest another few hundred pounds before the plants are pulled and the field put to rest for the summer. It would be great if you could join us for a few hours to see if we can’t “rescue” these beans for the agencies we serve.
I also have the following dates set for gleaning: Saturday, 5/19 and Wednesday, 5/23, potatoes in Hastings; and Saturday, 5/26, cabbage in Wellborn (near Lake City/White Springs).
PLEASE respond to this e-mail if you are available for any of these dates, and I will send directions and details.
The cabbage gleaning is a welcomed opportunity because it means coleslaw! Also, it is near an area to camp and kayak should anyone want to make a day of it. As always, the vehicle has open seats and I would love to spend the day with anyone who can make the time.
I could kick myself really, really hard. Some great notes and pictures sit waiting to reach their full potential while I manage get distracted by irrelevant items. In fairness there are responsibilities that have assumed the minutes of my waking existence so the hair shirt will not be worn for an extended duration. Passing through that garden of jovial self-loathing let us move to your not-so-distant future gleaning dates. Those which I can attend will be marked so please feel free to mark that time on your calendar if the “spirit moves you”.
BIG REMINDER! KEEP APRIL 21st OPEN FOR THE FIRST OFFICIAL CHANGE-CAN LIVING ROOM CONCERT WITH C. J. FLUHARTY! PROCEEDS WILL GO TO THE SOCIETY OF ST ANDREW!
We have a great many opportunities to harvest citrus and broccoli this month so come out, lend us a hand and enjoy some great company, fresh air & sunshine, fresh fruit and veggies! Oh, and feed a lot of folks nutritious and delicious food while salvaging what would otherwise be wasted–it’s a WIN-WIN-WIN-WIN opportunity!
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 14 – 8:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m. We will be gleaning citrus fruit in south Mandarin/Julington Creek/Fruit Cove area at 3-4 homes.
SATURDAY, MARCH 17 – 8:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m. THE FIRST VEGETABLE GLEAN! LOOKING FORWARD TO THIS! We’ll be back in Hastings harvesting broccoli. You’ve heard me talk about how much we enjoy picking broccoli, now come see what all the fuss is about!
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 21 – 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. While there’s still broccoli to be had, we’re coming back for more! We’re out to beat our first-of-the-year gleaning total of 7,400 lbs. that 120 people picked on 2/29. Come help us break our own record!
If you can make it out to one or more of these gleanings, please contact me. Thanks for your support of the Society of St. Andrew Gleaning Network!