Monday, August 10, 2009

Gleaning with Marin Organic...

Finally, after countless emails from Marin Organic encouraging me to join their Monday afternoon glean team, I had the time and the wherewithal to participate at this week's Green Gulch glean-fest.  It's Camp Mommy this week, so after a morning swim at the pool and lunch at the Boulangerie (I just love that place), my girls and I headed over the hill to Muir Beach to pass a couple of hours before the 4pm gleaners call bell rang. 

The weather was uncannily warm when we arrived at the beach, but by four o'clock the fog was settling in nicely; so when we reached the Zen Center, me and the girls had a slight chill on.  World's do collide at these sorts of things so it was no surprise to see a friend's name from the Environmental Forum on the sign-in sheet.  Fortunately, she had an extra jacket, as did my MOGP friend Elaine, whom I'd invited to join us; so we headed down from the parking lot towards the farm warmer than when we'd arrived.

It wasn't long however before we were shedding our newly acquired outer layers as we and the other volunteers descended upon the chard, kale and broccoli we'd been assigned to glean.   Scott, Marin Organic's Gleaning Program Manager and Organic School Lunch Manager, filled his truck with the fifty boxes of produce we'd harvested.  This food is "delivered to participating schools, camps and underserved communities throughout Marin, offsetting their costs and allowing them to serve local and organic options while staying with their limited budgets."  (See the Marin Organic website for more information).

While I work at the College of Marin IVC farm every Wednesday, it was a great experience for my kids to try their hand at "real" agricultural work.  Don't get me wrong, we harvest from our home garden and regularly work together at the Park Elementary School Garden.  But this was an opportunity for them to directly "give back" to kids who don't have the access to fresh, local, organic food that we do.

So I recommend that you visit Marin Organic's website and get on their "glean team" email list.  You don't have to show up every week or even every month.  But the extra hands certainly make "short work" of the task at hand.  They'll be in Bolinas next week and back at Green Gulch after that.  So come join me and the girls, and maybe some other familiar MOGP faces, as we help our underserved communities eat more local organic food.

Comment on this post and let me know what you think!

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