Getting dirty for a grateful harvest

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Ingard here, so what does a Thrifty gal (and her family) do on a beautiful fall weekend?

Find a way to stockpile FREE produce is what.

For several years I have wanted to glean from the produce fields in my beautiful native Idaho.  A few years ago I met Kim (who has become a dear friend) in my daughter’s homeschooling group. Kim has developed a relationship with a local farmers group and learns about fields of corn, potato or grapes that are opened to gleaners. Kim gets the call from the farmer when the fields are ready to harvest. She then starts calling her contacts and we have to drop our lives and fit it into our busy schedule because once the field is ready for harvest the window closes quickly before the produce ruins in the field.

So why am I telling you all this? Well, don’t be shy about putting the word out that you are looking for gleaning opportunities. Use social media to put the word out. Check craigslist ads for gleaners of farmers fields or gardeners who have bumper crops of produce. If there are fields where you live, find out who the farmer is and ask them if once they have harvested from the field will they let you glean before they turn over the field and get it ready for the winter. PLEASE!!! Don’t forget all your manners once you are allowed in the fields or gardens so that you (and others) are invited back the following year.

We, as a family find this work, but we learn to appreciate where our food comes from. The farmer, the pickers, the weeders, as well as our ancestors who struggled to survive in this country when times were less convenient. Also we talked out there in the lonesome field without the so many of the technological distractions that pull us away from each other.

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