Source: Local Futures
Gleaning refers to harvesting and gathering foods that would otherwise go to waste. From city fruit trees to leftover crops on farms, the amount of food that can be gleaned is huge, and many organizations and initiatives have emerged to collect this food for local consumption. In many cases, the gleaned food is donated to local anti-hunger programs. Not only does this tap into hitherto ignored local abundance, but it helps reduce dependence on the global industrial food system.
- Find a local gleaning group with the Center for Food and Agriculture Systems’ Nationwide Gleaning and Food Recovery Map (US), Feedback Global’s Go Gleaning map (UK), and Alive’s Gleaning Fresh Food list (Canada). Elsewhere, find a local gleaning or urban harvesting group with Falling Fruit’s worldwide database Grow Pick Distribute.
- See an overview of approaches to gleaning with How to Glean for Good, featuring examples from around the US.
- Start a new gleaning group with Feedback Global’s Toolkit (UK) or the United States Department of Agriculture’s Let’s Glean! toolkit.
- Map out the trees in your city with FallingFruit.org, a worldwide database of fruit trees available for public harvest. A gleaning or urban fruit organization near you may already have its own database, too.
- Create and distribute a paper map of public fruit trees with Fallen Fruit’s Public Fruit Maps.
- Organize a group city fruit harvest with Solid Ground’s guide How to organize an urban fruit harvest.
- Understand the laws around gleaning in your area with the National Gleaning Project’s Legal and Policy Resources page (US).
- Volunteers with Not Far From the Tree in Toronto, Canada, pick fruit from private trees all around the city and share the harvest with owners and local food banks.
- Food Forward in Los Angeles, US, collects fresh fruits and vegetables from backyard fruit trees, public orchards, and farmers markets, and delivers it to people in need.
- Smarta Kartan in Gothenburg, Sweden, maps out the sharing economy of the city, including public fruit trees.
- Fallen Fruit in Los Angeles, US is an urban fruit trail highlighting 150 edible trees in one neighborhood.