Gleaning The Seasonal, Local Produce
Sign Up below to help Sarah Harpster and The Community Kitchen.
Meet Sarah Harpster. Sarah started the gleaning program for TCK in 2013 with 9 initial farms on board. In its first year the program gleaned 24,480 lbs. of fresh produce. In its second year, 2014, the Gleaning Program collected 34,371 pounds of produce grown in Cheshire County at local farms and gleaned at charitable gardens that were created in and around the city by local businesses.
The Community Kitchen had its sixth gleaning season in 2018. Despite some challenges experienced by local producers, we collected 31,858 pounds of excess produce in Cheshire County. It was another banner year for cucumbers, zucchini, and summer squash. Commercial producers contributed 27,653 pounds of excess produce to our programs this year.
Charitable, Community Gardens & Commercial Growers
In 2018, the gleaning project collected at total of 31,858 pounds of produce. Volunteers and I made about 100 trips to collect previously harvested produce at the Keene Farmer’s Market and commercial farms. Some farmers also stopped at The Community Kitchen and dropped off donations. New Dawn Farm made regular deliveries to Joan’s Pantry in Chesterfield, which were recorded in our database. We harvested produce at about a dozen field gleans this year, including basil and winter squash at Pete’s Stand, blueberries at Cheshire Garden and Crescendo Acres Farm, and blueberries and green beans at Nye Hill Farm. Commercial producers contributed 27,653 pounds of excess produce to our programs this year.
Antioch University New England continued to operate the Westmoreland Garden Project on space leased from Cheshire County, where they added a hoop house and were able to produce 1212 pounds of produce for The Community Kitchen in 2018. C & S Wholesale Grocers employees, in collaboration with graduate students from Antioch University, grew food for The Community Kitchen for their sixth year. In 2018, students and volunteers took charge of all tasks related to the project and were able to harvest and deliver 994 pounds of produce to The Community Kitchen.
Tubs of cherry tomatoes harvested from a local farm.
VOLUNTEERS MAKE GLEANING A HUGE SUCCESS
If you would like more information about gleaning or to become a volunteer that gleans fresh produce for the Community Kitchen, please sign up here at www.nhgleans.org