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Gleaning at Jessica’s Organic Farm

Written by Kim Burns - LA DOLCE VITA - June 25, 2018

Every Monday morning, bright and early, Sarasota and Bradenton locals meet at Jessica’s Organic Farm to help glean various vegetables to be donated to All Faiths Food Bank. Gleaning is the act of collecting leftover crops from farmers’ fields after they have been commercially harvested. Volunteers are given a list of vegetables that are ready for harvest, and then put themselves to work! One week, volunteers were given the task of gleaning red leaf lettuce, romaine lettuce, and spinach. Each green required gleaners to carefully pick the plants ready for harvest, and to throw any leaves they would not eat themselves, back into the soil to further enrich it. For over an hour, volunteers sweep through the rows of plants slicing and preparing them for donation. Once all of the vegetables are harvested and thoroughly washed, the “Gleaner’s Buffet” takes place where volunteers are encouraged to take a bag of organic goodies home for themselves.

For 30 years, Jessica’s Organic Farm Stand has been supplying locals with a dependable source for healthy foods. All the fruits and vegetables grown and sold at Jessica’s are 100% certified organic and offer a multitude of nutrients. These locally grown foods can make a great addition to your kitchen this summer. Come stop by soon to stock up your fridge with some wholesome produce. Jessica’s will open throughout the summer at various times on the weekend, however its gleaning season is coming to a close.

Gleaning is a great way to start off the week, and it benefits Transition Sarasota’s Suncoast Gleaning Project. Transition Sarasota is an organization whose mission is to create food and economic security by supporting local and sustainable sources. Through the Suncoast Gleaning Project, Transition Sarasota has successfully donated over 247,500 pounds of organic fruits and vegetables to the food insecure in the local community. This project provides those in need with an option for healthier eating at no cost. Together, the Sarasota community can effectively promote healthy living among all of its members. If this sounds like something of interest, more information can be discovered at, or by contacting gleaning coordinator, Janet Lewis, at  Gleaning is all wrapped up for this season. See you during the next gleaning season in the fall!

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