Willits Grateful Gleaners - Calling for Scions!

kgridley applesGleaning season will be upon us soon and promises to be bountiful, given the abundant rains this year. We hope some of you will make 2011 the year to join our project and help surpass our good harvest in 2010.

The Grateful Gleaners started up in 2004 as the noble idea of collecting excess fruit, nuts, and vegetables from local orchards and individual gardeners and distributing it to those in need through community organizations such as the Community Food Bank, Willits Daily Bread, Harrah?s Senior Center and local schools. Pioneer Gleaner, Karen Gridley, remembers WELL's early activities inspired her to expand the gleaning efforts she and her friend Esther Faber had initiated: “We thought it was a shame to let all
that fruit go to waste when so many couldn't afford to buy fruit, and gradually we organized a group of volunteers.” Veteran Team Leaders give training and direction to volunteer Gleaners and pitch in to harvest as well, of course. However, too often, of late, the “old hands” are the only ones who show up to provide backbone to their good intentions. Hence, the call for scions, i.e., new wood grafted to mature trees. In our case, we need fresh ideas, enthusiasm, vigor and strong backs to assist us in this important community endeavor. If you are inclined to participate, please look at your busy schedule and see where you can find a few hours a month –usually between late June and end of October – to help out your community. In addition to a good fresh-air workout and good company, you may also receive a portion of the bounty for your family.

To join the Gleaner team, prior to June 1st, please contact Sara O’Brien at 456-1293 for more details.
After June 1st, please call our voicemail box:
459-5490, mailbox # 555. Leave your name, phone number and best time to be reached so we can get back to you.
If you have an orchard, are a long-time donor or new to the area, please let us know whether you will continue with your generosity, and keep us posted as to probable harvest times.

Gleaners Annual Plant Sale, June 5th (moved to the 12th)
The always popular Gleaners plant sale will be held on Sunday, June 5th from 10 am until 4 pm at the corner of West Mendocino and Spruce Streets (on the Spruce St. side across from the Seventh Day Adventist Church). Any of you with extra plant starts, perennials, shrubs or trees are encouraged to donate them to our fund-raiser. This year we?ll also accept used garden tools in good condition, ceramic pots and garden art, so this is the perfect opportunity to clean out that garage or garden shed.bill sheryl toms

Call Karen Gridley (459-2101) or Sara O?Brien (456-1293) for more information on drop-off locations for the Plant Sale or any other questions.
Thanks to your ongoing support, the Gleaners have been able to purchase useful and much-needed harvesting equipment such as safe orchard ladders, fruit pickers, bags, and our latest addition, ingenious walnut collectors. We have more ideas for promoting local sustainable food production in the planning stage, and we would welcome your ideas to expand our efforts.