In biblical times, landowners would leave tailings and food that wasn’t collected the first time around. These were left for the poor and needy, to come and collect. They called it gleaning. The poor would go and glean the fields, for what was just leftovers to the landowners was a feast to those in need.
We gleaned our local fields this past fall for potatoes. We got three big buckets full of white potatoes and they fed us for a month, as well as serving as the potato dish for our Thanksgiving family dinner.
I didn’t know that people still did these things. Of course I’d heard of gleaning in the tale of Ruth, who was protected by Boaz when she came to glean the fields and was judged for being from another land.
I found the Kern Valley Potato Gleaning Project on Facebook. Families, classes and organizations go out to glean for their own pantries and to donate a portion or all of what they collect to the local food dispensaries.
If you’d like to learn more or would like to be put on the mailing list to learn about upcoming gleaming days, please visit their Facebook community page at https://www.facebook.com/KRVPotatoGleaning/info?tab=page_info