The Luxury of Fresh Produce

By Jean Blish Siers *

I’m a sucker for certain types of Internet “click bait,” those headlines written solely to drive traffic to a page. I skip most (not all) videos of funny cats, but if I see a headline that says, “The 10 Things You Should Always Buy at Trader Joe’s,” I’m there! And of course the other day I clicked on, “The Items You Should Never Buy at Costco.”

There is a Costco near my house and I’m typically there ...

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No Throwing!

By Jean Blish Siers *

Tomatoes“No throwing!” That’s one of our main rules as we glean the fields in Charlotte, North Carolina. “If you throw, you have to leave the field.” I tell everyone this – children and adults alike – before we head out to glean.

People think it’s strict, and I have often been accused of being no fun at all. I’ve raised a child. I’m used to the accusation and can live ...

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The Conditions Were Perfect

“The conditions were perfect” … not what you’d expect to hear from your friends in the Midwest, in January. And in truth, it was snowing and not ideal weather for gleaning the fields. But Ann would not be discouraged.

She had recently learned that many apple orchards keep harvested apples in refrigerated storage over the winter. This can occasionally lead to apples being unsold and wasted. Ann wanted to make sure no apple was left ...

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What Do They Eat on Tuesday?

By Jean Blish Siers *

strawberries“What do they eat on Tuesday?” Those words have been rolling around in my head since we harvested our final field of beautiful strawberries last summer.

Sarah had brought her young son Graham to glean with us that day for the first time. Graham is one of those amazing kids I love to be around: He’s a questioner. Why was there a chicken coop with no chickens? Why were some ...

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How to Feed Hungry People Every Day

– A story worth repeating, and repeating

It seems so simple. About forty people scatter across a field that’s covered by rows of leafy plants. They talk with each other, and laugh sometimes, as they pick kale. This bucolic scene is a common one for volunteers with the Society of St. Andrew. It happens thousands of times a year, in fields and orchards from the Gulf states of Florida and Mississippi, to the upper plains of Michigan and the hills of ...

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A Legacy of Caring

Ethel Halsey’s Quiet Generosity

Ethel Halsey, a schoolteacher and outdoor educator from Rhode Island, was active in hiking and nature groups throughout her adult life. She supported charities that preserved the environment and promoted wise use of Earth’s resources.

Ethel knew she wanted to leave a legacy that would carry on her commitments long beyond her lifetime. Never married and childless, the decisions about how to structure that legacy were entirely her own – and Ethel was a planner. She selected a ...

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