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The Boston Globe

Magazine

First Person

Prized leftovers

Believing no fresh food should go to waste, Matt Crawford is the new guy to round up volunteers for Boston Area Gleaners.

Gleaning is a biblical term, basically the act of taking the excess from the fields, anything the farmer wasn’t going to sell or feed to the pigs. After we’ve gleaned the food, we donate it to pantries. Say a farmer finds an extra bed of beets that they are going to plow under, they call us. I arrange a group of volunteers and we harvest the beets, then typically donate to Food for Free, and they deliver to food pantries and shelters in the area.

On our first official gleaning trip [this season], we harvested 300 pounds of red Russian kale and 60 pounds of peas. Berries are popular early season, and greens, such as kale, spinach, mustard greens, lettuce. We do corn in August, root vegetables in fall and early winter.

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