Monday, April 26, 2010

A History Lesson

The Stanford Gleaning Project was founded in the spring of 2009 by Stanford University freshmen, Caitlin and Susannah. The concept for the project came from a class taught by Page Chamberlain and Jim Sweeney called “Reducing your Carbon Footprint.” The Gleaners would collect produce on Stanford campus and donate to The Julian Food Pantry and The Free Farm Stand, both of San Francisco.

There is wealth of produce growing on Stanford campus – oranges, grapefruits, kumquats, lemons, limes, mandarins, Buddha’s hands, tangerines, loquats, avocados, and plums – which goes un-harvested and relatively unnoticed by throngs of students each year.

The first task of the Gleaning Project was to identify the trees on campus which produced fruit. Susannah and Caitlin created a nifty GPS map of the trees available online: Along with charting student areas of campus, the gleaners ventured into the faculty neighborhood and recorded trees which peeked over fences and spilled fruit on lawns and walkways.

Using the correct harvesting equipment, fruit pickers, the Stanford Gleaning Project is able to harvest and donate much of the fruit on campus. The faculty neighborhood has been flyered, and produce collected from generous faculty members.

In addition, Stanford has a fantastic community farm, on which the Gleaning Project two plots. Seasonal produce is planted year round and harvested. All harvests are donated.

Along with harvesting efforts, the gleaners work at the Julian Food Pantry on Saturdays.

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