January 2013 Gleaning Starts Strong


Vicki Poole and me in front of her orange tree.
Vicki Poole and me in front of her orange tree.

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.

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Gleaning – All the Beans!!!


Our first bucket of beans

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.

Sandi

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.

Gleaning: Bring on the Vegetables


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!

Gleaning in Your Rearview Mirror


This past Saturday down in San Mateo was a wonderful experience. So that I do not spoil the much anticipated post detailing the day that is all you will get on this post. However, I do have more dates for you. I would like to know if anyone could attend one of the mid-week dates.

As always you can contact me for a ride to the site.

Wednesday, Feb. 8 – 8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Grove Park/Beach & University Blvd. area

Saturday, Feb. 11 – 8:30 a.m.- noon
San Jose Blvd./Beauclerc Rd. area

Wednesday, Feb. 15 – 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.
South Jax Beach/Ponte Vedra Beach

Saturday, Feb. 18 – 8:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m.
East Palatka area
**I need experienced gleaners to help with a group gleaning, demonstrating
tools and helping to bag fruit and keep count of bags
***I also could use folks to transport fruit–if you have a van or pickup truck and
could deliver some of the fruit please respond to this e-mail.

Wednesday, Feb. 22 – 8:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m.
Dr. Ira’s home – west Jacksonville, Ortega
We’ll visit 3-4 homes in this area to glean oranges and grapefruit.

Saturday the 4th of February: Thou Shalt Glean and a Review of Last Saturday


The weather in North Florida is beautiful. Per this morning’s weather report we are just close to 10 degrees warmer than last year, apparently due to the occurrence of El Niño. That being the case our time to glean stats a bit brisk but ends with a short pants and t-shirt afternoon.

This past Saturday found us in East Palatka at two residential homes to harvest the most grapefruit I have ever seen. The second house specifically had two large trees that allowed us to climb them to reap the benefit of its production. Unfortunately I had to leave prior to harvesting a fourth house (while we were at home number two-part of our group was at another house) so I cannot report how much fruit we saved from going unused.

Amidst the success were two huge failures on my part: 1) no pictures and 2) trying to clip fruit resting on a power line. For the latter I am grateful I am not dead as my partially rubberized gloves would surely have not saved me from electrocution. Beyond that was the continued gardening tips and education as to the different varieties of citrus. The new orange, I believe, is from the Seville family though I cannot recall its name. It was small and we ate it peel and all. Not real sweet and it stayed with you for hours. The home owner told me it is very good for marmalade and liquor.

As always Sandi Newman was a gracious host and my companion, Jane Marchand, was a welcomed passenger for the scenic ride. A tall Americano from Starbucks along with a sausage/egg breakfast sandwich and Jane’s bag of pumpkin bread helped fuel the positive energy.

This weekend we will again traverse 95 South to US 17. Our destination is a small family grove, just a bit further down the road from our first stop last week–it’s at 477 U.S. Hwy. 17 South in San Mateo. As always your presence is welcomed and the Tahoe has more than enough room to fill. Please contact me with any questions.

Your First Gleaning Update for 2012: Who Will Join Me?


Happy New Years to everyone! I hope 2012 finds you in good spirits in spite of any hardships or obstacles. The holiday was less hectic than I expected and time away with family served to purge and refocus the brain. A late Christmas gift was Sandi Newman’s email regarding gleaning opportunities in January. Hopefully you can join me for at least one of these.

Wednesday, January 4–8:30 a.m.–Murray Hill, Westside Jacksonville
Grapefruit gleaning

Saturday, January 7–8:30 a.m.–San Marco, Southside Jacksonville
Grapefruit, orange gleaning

Saturday, January 21–9:00 a.m.–Satsuma, Florida citrus gleaning
Grapefruit, oranges, tangerines
1 hour south of Jacksonville in the town of Satsuma, located south of Palatka

Our Morning of Gleaning


Our Saturday morning gleaning group.
Our Saturday morning gleaning group.

My morning started early at around 5:30. Laundry had been started the night before and my wife deserved a reprise from chores she far too often assumes. The kitchen was another task would be removed from her Saturday list. It was nice to actually embrace what my father calls “the best part of the day” as the silence of halls and rooms was broken only by the pleasant sounds of dog tails moving quickly through the air.

The excitement which pulled me from my sleep was directly tied to my first gleaning event with the Society of St Andrews. For those not familiar with the organization, here is what their “about us” states on their website. Their history is grounded in the United Methodist Church.

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