What is Gleaning?
Gleaning is an ancient form of food recovery & support that’s making an amazing modern comeback! It is the gathering of leftover fruits and vegetables from a farm, yard, or garden.
Gleaning has been an important form of social welfare for well over 2,000 years. The Old Testament of The Bible commanded Hebrew farmers to leave a portion of their crops un-harvested and allow poor neighbors and strangers to come onto their land to pick what was left for themselves and their families. In England and France, the government actually protected the rights of rural poor to glean leftover crops from nearby farms.
Picking leftover crops for the local community was an essential part of farm life and the harvest process for hundreds of years, until new private property laws and farming technology began to limit gleaners’ rights. It was common to see people out in fields picking leftover crops until after the end of World War II.
In Clallam County, 16% of households are “food insecure,” “lacking reliable access to a sufficient quantity of affordable, nutritious food” (Oxford). By gleaning, you can help those in need access fresh, nutritious local produce that might otherwise go to waste. And you can save money on food for your own household by filling your freezer full of fruit, canning your own sauces, and eating free, sun-ripened veggies fresh from the soil!
Join the Clallam Gleaners!
Ready to volunteer to pick fruits and vegetables?
- Read how-to on our ‘How to Become a Gleaner‘ page! Pick fruits and veggies for you and your family and donate the rest to people who need food.
- Read how-to ‘Host a Gleaning Crew‘ here. Support others coming to your property to glean fruits and veggies to be shared with those who need it.
- Sign up to receive the online Gleaning Newsletter to find out what fruit and vegetables are available for harvest each week during the growing season.
- Sign into our New Website, this is essential to participate.
Contact the WSU Clallam County Extension Gleaning Coordinator at (360) 565-2619 or email@example.com with any questions.