Sunday, August 5, 2012

Gleaning in Farm Country

One day, as our neighborhood farmer parked in my driveway as he tried to adjust his irrigation equipment timers, I had a chance to shoot the breeze with him for a little bit. He had recently just purchased the fields our yard sits in and had been working very hard and digging new drainage ditches and get his equipment working properly without covering the road, endangering drivers or drowning our own home. ( The day I talked to him, it hit our home and covered our whole yard in a hurricane force which thankfully he corrected in a hurry and came running to apologize!)

The great thing about this is I  discovered he planned on planting cucumbers in this particular field and so I asked if he would mind at harvest time, after his harvest machines went through, if I could glean what is left in the fields. He happily told me if I waited for the harvest machines to go through, I was more than welcome to glean his fields.

You see, a harvest machine while it does pick up a lot, also leaves TONS of product still in the fields that usually will just go to rot and waste. If you glean right after the harvest machines though, you can still get tons of edible veggies.

The cucumbers are now up and I am excitedly waiting for harvest time and plan on looking up as many pickling and relish and whatever else recipes I can preserve and can what I will be gleaning. The field is a good 80 acre plot so it should be plenty of cucumbers for us!

I love it when food becomes free just for the asking and most farmers are more than willing to allow this if only you simply ask and of course wait until their machines have gone through.