Clear Sky Friday – Seeing Good 24/01

IMAG0074CUMC Youth Group with citrus and Second Harvest truck

This past Saturday was the Second Harvest City Wide Citrus Glean in Jacksonville, FL. Officially the title is qualified as “Second Annual” as it was the second hear Second Harvest and Society of St. Andrew (SoSA) coordinated efforts to feed the hungry by picking fruit that would normally fall and rot.

My role was retained from 2013, which meant the responsibility of site coordinator for the San Jose area. Last year we had approximately 20 volunteers, and those could not reach all the houses on the list. Sunday found me gleaning an additional three homes. However, this year the volunteer count was approximately 80, which meant all houses on the list had their trees picked clean. Thanks to the work ethic of those in the field we were able to glean from an additional three houses. Those volunteers were out from 9:00 am until 2:00 pm, and thanks to the weather the day was more redeeming than expected.

From church youth groups to local business to mindful individuals, people from a variety of beliefs, cultures and socioeconomic areas gathered for a common goal: affording the less fortunate something many of us take for granted. From a 2011 Yahoo article:

“Almost 15 percent of households in America say they don’t have enough money to eat the way they want to eat,” Seligman said. Recent estimates show 49 million Americans make food decisions based on cost, she added.

Per Elliot Darkatsh with Second Harvest these were our weekend results:

In about 4 hours on a chilly Saturday, over 400 volunteers were deployed to pick from about 130 homes.

Here are the results (in lbs):

  • Potters House (westside):                  3039
  • Arlington:                                           3820
  • Chets Creek:                                       4002
  • San Jose:                                             7459
  • Mandarin:                                          8029

Total:     26,349 lbs of citrus!  This was a slight increase from last year, which considering the freeze this year is good.

I could not find my data for San Jose from last year, but I know we were far above that count.

Gleaning is a great way to meet new people and to be a positive impact for change in the world. I work with SoSA. Find one in your area.


Second Harvest of North Florida

NPR Article

Mid-Atlantic Gleaning Network

USDA’s How to Glean

Gleaning Network of Southern Oregon

UK Gleaning

Gleaning the Fields blog

June 9th is the Living Room Concert w/ C.J. Fluharty for WNWN and SoSA

CJ Fluharty in Concert

Very exciting times over here at Change-Can. There is obvious anticipation over how successful this will be but we are happy to be doing something, much less honoring a promise made to ourselves. Please check out the Living Room Concert tab at the top right. Hopefully you can make it and in doing so help us reach our goal of 50 attendees. Contact me with any questions but more importantly contact me to reserve your spot!


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.


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 – Update

I received a response in regards to my correspondence with Society of St. Andrew.

Hi Brian-
Thanks for your interest in gleaning opportunities with Society of St.
Andrew in the Jacksonville area.
We will be gearing up for our season which starts in November and goes
through June. We begin with “backyard citrus” trees that are offering
by homeowners across Duval County, and move on to field crops like
broccoli and cabbage in April and May and finish with potatoes in June
and July. The fields are located around Hastings, which is a small
town that lies between St. Augustine and Palatka on CR207.
I’ll send an e-mail outlining volunteer opportunities around the first
of November!
Sandi Newman
Area coordinator

Look for more updates to come!

Gleaning the Farms and Other Items

For anyone who is interested, I have contacted SoSA (Society of St. Andrews) to volunteer time in the farms of Florida, gleaning food for the hungry. This is a group that works in a good number of other states (here). If you are at all interested in spending time to help let me know. When they contact me with availability I will share it on the site.

With South Carolina being another state to glean in I will probably be requesting times there as well.

A few other projects being worked on are below. As you can read, Chris is very busy.

  • I have sent out an email to some friends I think can offer their services or direct me to ones who can for a chili cookofff I would like to host in December. Proceeds would go towards the Second Harvest of North Florida and the West Chatham Food Pantry. My plan is to ask for a $5 donation and 5 cans of food. The food collected will go directly to Second Harvest. My first order of business is to get some chefs. Let me know if you can help.
  • I am trying to frame a Pop Warner Scholarship Fund so we can help pay for at least one child to play Pop Warner Football. Listening to Fred Taylor’s retirement speech today, where he spoke of his grandmother scraping together $60 for him to play, has further inspired me that this will be a worthy effort.
  • Chris is working to coordinate a food drive at Wake Technical Community College with other like-minded campus groups.
  • Chris is working to coordinate an event for Veterans Day. This could include acquiring a flag that has been flown over the state capital and presenting it to the oldest living veteran in North Carolina.
  • Chris is working to set up a $500 scholarship fund on Wake’s campus.

The $1 Facebook Friend Fund never got off the ground and with Chris now off Facebook I am carrying the standard. I know the one-click donation link will help (or I hope it will) and it has not been forgotten. Also, please don’t forget to keep those BoxTops. Remember, I will come and get them.