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What is gleaning?

Updated: Jun 3, 2022

“Gleaning is the act of collecting leftover crops from farmers' fields after they have been commercially harvested or on fields where it is not economically profitable to harvest.” - Wikipedia


There are many Bible references for gleaning or glean. My favorite is in the book of Ruth. She gleans crops after the field has been harvested so she can provide for her and her mother in law.

Sue at the Bishop Farmstead gleaning beans. Fairhope, AL


Gleaning and what is it exactly...


Today I mentioned to an egg customer that I’m a gleaner. She didn’t know what that was. It occurred to me that this isn’t common.


We have friends and family that have an abundance of fruit and veggies. They are done with what they want and they offer what’s left to me. So I go pick fruit and get enough for my family and share with others. I count myself very blessed to know people who will allow me this privilege.


I am respectful of their garden or orchard and don’t damage the plants. This is important if you have someone coming to glean. Some plants will keep growing but if the plants are damaged they won’t make anymore. I’ve found fellow farmers and friends are picky about who they allow to glean from their garden. And I totally get that!


A lot of people won’t go and pick the extra. This act of gleaning is not common. I only know of one or two friends locally that will do this. It’s free food and it provides for my family and friends. I’m willing to do the work and no food goes to waste. Win win!


Any other fellow gleaners out there?




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