Thanks to two volunteer gleaners for offering blog posts today, Paula Lorenz and Nell Wade!
Guest post by Paula Lorenz:
I recently moved to the Central Coast from Wisconsin. I had been very involved in the local food scene: volunteering at the farmers’ market, helping to get a program to use food stamps at the farmers’ market going, running another program to get customers more connected to their food and the people who produced it. I had heard of gleaning by way of a French movie that I still haven’t seen, but knew of no such organization until moving here.
I found the announcement to glean hydroponic lettuce on Friday, May 10th on Facebook and went to sign up. This is my third experience gleaning and my first opportunity to see working hydroponic systems. What an impressive space! Four volunteers plus a member of the farm staff had the 300+ heads of lettuce (125 pounds!) cut and packed in about 30 minutes.
It feels wonderful to be able to help provide fresh, healthy food to people who might not have it otherwise. It’s an amazing opportunity to go to the farms and explore parts of the Central Coast I might not ever get to see. And I’ve met, and worked with, the nicest people.
Blog post by Master Gardener, Nell Wade:
It was a beautiful morning (albeit a bit toasty) inside the hydroponic greenhouse of PepperCreek Family Farm. We had the opportunity to glean information about farming hydroponically as well as gleaning perfect heads of lettuce – without a trace of insect damage. The process was quite different harvesting here rather than in a conventional field row. One long plastic tube houses more than a dozen plants. No soil anchors their roots and they are watered and fed continuously via a small tube from one end. The solution exits the other end of the tube and is recirculated again and again. For harvesting, this tube is put on saw horses making it easier to cut the lettuce heads off at the base. No mess, no mud, no damage!
Pictured below: Kelly Munoz, Paula Lorenz, Nell Wade and Eric Boyd from PepperCreek Family Farm.