Our work with Craig Diserens and his California-based, Village Harvest, began two years ago but it was not until today that we truly understood the amount of effort and the logistical planning that goes into this backyard gleaning effort that gathers thousands of pounds of luscious fresh fruit and gets it into the hands of local hunger programs where people who might not have the means to purchase costly produce can enjoy the seasonal bounty.
Within a three hour time span about 15 volunteers, led by a volunteer coordinator, gathered at the local food agency and received instructions and maps to nearby homes where they were to pick crate after crate of luscious persimmons. Watching the precision and the coordinated actions of the volunteers was impressive. Everyone seemed to know what to do and how to be helpful. With the agency’s van equipped with all of the tools needed to carry out the mission– ladders, telescoping pickers to reach the highest branches, crates, gloves, rakes and more–about three hours later the results, pictured below, included 900 pounds of fresh, juicy persimmons and a corps of volunteers who had come together to benefit their community.