Gleaning Stories, Gleaning Change

Voices of Gleaning: May 30

Voices from the May 30 Glean


gleaning may 30

The glean on May 30th took place at one of the fields of Tanimura and Antle in Chualar. Ag Against Hunger had their big truck and we gleaned 14 bins of delicate head and robust romaine lettuce. We had to carry our crates a little farther than usual, but had a dedicated groups of carriers who brought us empty crates and carried our full ones back to the truck. The field had been watered recently, so our shoes picked up more and more black mud and got heavier and heavier. The weather was overcast. The wind blustered while we gleaned. There was a wonderful spirit of camaraderie. Here are a few of their voices, a bit of rumbling wind, and the occasional growl of tractors in nearby fields.

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Mark Adamek, Tanimura & Antle Field Manager

Mark took us to the field and showed us how to cut the lettuce heads. This was a conventional field, though T&A grows organically in about 30% of its fields. In addition to their Salinas Valley fields (lettuces, broccoli, cauliflower, and onions, for the most part), they grow lettuce hydroponically in Tennesee, asparagus in Mexico, and shift their whole California operation to Arizona in the winter, driving caravans of trucks, equipment, and workers across the desert and back. more ...

Listen to Mark talk about the origins of the T&A partnership from the time of the Japanese internments during WWII and about retired "Snowbirds" who live near the fields of their winter operation in Arizona.

Jennifer and Gabriel Millican

Jennifer Millican's boss at Wells Fargo talked up gleaning, so she decided to try it. Growing up on a dairy farm, she'd been in the fields and done "just about anything you can do to a cow," but this lettuce gleaning was something new.

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Her husband Gabriel, an engineer, came along. Gleaning was a new word, but not really a new concept for him.

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Hank Snow

Hank, 58, is a carpenter who lives in Spreckels. I walked with him as he carried a full crate of lettuce back toward the truck. I asked him how he came to be gleaning.

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He's never been gleaning, but he's worked with a lot of salvaged old-growth wood. Salvage is like gleaning.

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Annelise Kelly

Annelise is a freelance writer who's traveled the world and written about food and culture in faraway and nearby places. She's managed an organic bagel bakery and cooked in restaurants and homes around the world. She's also been an ardent dumpster diver and recycler.

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Belle Yang and Eva Lothar

Belle and Eva are two artists who recently fell in love with each other's work, then they met and found they were artistic soulmates. Belle is a landscape artist and children's book author and illustrator. Eva is a filmmaker who lives in Paris and was in this area working on new releases of her two lyrical documentaries about Cannery Row and Moss Landing. Belle told Eva she ought to come gleaning while she was here. more ...

Listen to Belle and Eva talk about each other's work and about gleaning here and in France

Carmel Presbyterian Church

Carmel Presbyterian Church and its high school and college ministries started gleaning in the fall of 2008. They've become regulars at the gleans. They've also spread the word about gleaning beyond their own church. Here are the voices of a couple of folks from Carmel Presbyterian and a couple who came to this glean because of Carmel Presbyterian, even though they aren't members there.

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