Coming together: Apples from East to West

05 Mar 2024, by Admin in Harvest Blog, Harvest VISTA, Gleaning, Washington state

Near the end of October 2023, over 100 people came to rural Leavenworth, Washington to help harvest a huge crop of apples, supplying these to hunger relief organizations throughout the state. With more than 100 people, we harvested over 2,000 pounds of apples in less than 20 minutes! It’s incredible what we can do when we come together.

When I began this project, there were very few state-wide networks available to support gleaning organizations. Gleaning organizations tended to be isolated both geographically and from community and there was such a strong need for cohesion within these organizations to prevent “reinventing the wheel” and using our resources inefficiently.

Because of this network project, not only have we been able to communicate with each other via phone, email, and Zoom, but we’ve also been able to physically come together. Getting word down the pipeline and passing it on has led to some incredible results including building relationships, bridging the geographic divide, reducing waste, and putting food into the hands of those who need it most. Furthermore, this network has created a space for communities to share and become grounded in the reality of their local food system. By connecting with each other, we are all better prepared to confront larger environmental and societal issues resulting from our mechanized and commercialized food systems and begin to consider solutions that benefit us all.