Friday, June 24, 2011


Gleaning is an Old Testament form of charity.  The Bible tells us that we should leave food in our fields so that those less fortunate can pick the leftovers to feed themselves.  Ruth took advantage of this form of charity to feed herself and her mother-in-law in the Book of Ruth.  Modern gleaning is a little different but it is still a wonderful concept.

Mrs. Roy has gotten a couple of phone calls and emails recently asking if she wanted to come pick leftovers from folks’ gardens.  Mrs. Roy is all about free food so the answer is always yes!  Mrs. Roy picked corn, enough to put 5 quarts of creamed corn in the freezer.  Then Mrs. Roy and her mother picked peas - enough to put 4 quarts in the freezer.  Then Mrs. Roy and a friend picked blueberries - enough to make several quarts of berries for the freezer and still have some to share.  Life is good.

Mrs. Roy likes the concept of gleaning because it involves work.  Mrs. Roy gets really frustrated at folks who want to sit at home and have people deliver charity to them when they are capable of working.  Mrs. Roy worries about what is going to happen to a society that encourages such behavior.

Gleaning is also a good byproduct of the fresh food movement.  More and more of Mrs. Roy’s friends are planting gardens and/or buying local produce and other products.  The downtown association in our town is sponsoring a farmer’s market on the courthouse square every other Saturday.  In addition to vegetables, there are vendors selling homemade soaps and goat cheese and milk and grass-fed beef.

Mrs. Roy got tickled at the fellow selling grass-fed beef.  He was just bound and determined to tell Mrs. Roy that she had never eaten beef like that.  Mrs. Roy finally had to confess that she grew up on a farm with 60 head of grass-fed Charolais in the pasture.  Poor fellow just didn’t know who he was talking to!  A friend of mine laughed and said all his meat was grass-fed when he was growing up and now it’s fancy.  Ain’t it the truth.  Ha

Mrs. Roy's First Tomato of 2011

Mrs. Roy has some tomato plants in the backyard, our only garden attempt.  If these do well, Mrs. Roy may add some peppers and squash next year.  We’ll see.  Mrs. Roy isn’t likely to have enough produce to set up a booth at the farmer’s market but one thing is for sure; Mrs. Roy will be sharing the bounty as often as possible.  And if folks want to come glean their own, that’s even better.

Mrs. Roy thinks the Bible is right - again.  We should share our bounty and gleaning is a way to do that while giving the receiver the dignity of knowing they worked (at least a little) for the gift they receive.  It’s a good thing.

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