Iskashitaa Refugee Network hosts monthly educational demonstrations at the Tucson Botanical Gardens on how to identify and use various edible landscapes found in Tucson. These tours are focused on increasing the community’s knowledge of local food resources, learning about the abundance of edible trees, both native and nonnative; their nutritional values, uses and cultural significance.
2020 brought many surprises to Iskashitaa Refugee Network, the most pleasant one being the enthusiasm and receptiveness to their programming at the University of Arizona community garden. IRN has had plots at this garden in the past, but this year was the first where there was such an overwhelming positive response from volunteers and refugees.
Typically, IRN would lead 2 weekly harvests that involved meeting at the office and carpooling to fruit tree locations. These harvests would consist of large groups of refugees and volunteers ranging from 10-25 participants. Modifications to the gleaning approach were made to limit size and interaction of participants while still diverting viable and nutritional produce from landfills.
Concrete Jungle’s nutrition education program, PEEL (Produce Education and Enjoyment Loop), lowers the barrier of distributing produce by providing direct education at food pantries.
Fruit and Vegetable Picking Concrete Jungle coordinates approximately 70 volunteer events per year, engaging more than 960 volunteers from the Atlanta metropolitan community. Through this work, Concrete Jungle educates participants on Atlanta and Georgia’s horticultural diversity and the hunger and health issues of our homeless…
Towards the end of the growing season (October in Pacific NW), start visiting local stores and writing letters to seed companies asking for donations of last year’s seed. It helps to include your Employer Identification Number (EIN) in your letter to prove your organization’s non-profit status and to allow the donor to deduct donations from their taxes..
Thurston County Food Bank distributed thousands of plant starts during spring and early summer of 2011. Other TCFB programs like the school garden project have plant starts grown for them, but the gleaning program received excess donations from growers. Use this opportunity to introduce yourself to potential donors..
To access plant sales as a gleaning resource, first contact the people organizing the plant sale and offer your program as an option for any fruit or vegetable plants that might be left over after the sale. Master Gardener plant sales are great because they grow high quality plants and have a diversity of species and varieties..
During the 2012 growing season, the gleaning program in Yakima re-packed and distributed an estimated 730 lbs. of seeds to food banks, meal programs, community gardens, and community partners. Volunteers re-packed donated 40-50 lb. bags of seed into half envelope seed packets..