As the long days of Summer morph into the long shadows of autumn, our tomato crop winds down. After roasting tomatoes for sauce and saving heirloom seeds for next year’s crop, we still had a lot of tomatoes left on the vine.
I have often heard of gleaners, volunteers that harvest surplus produce from small farms and backyard trees to feed people, but never been in contact with them. To me, these gleaners seemed a bit like leprechauns — I’ve never seen them, but knew that they exited.
But, with all the extra tomatoes on the vine, we reached out to Farm To Pantry, a Sonoma County organization, with a stated mission to “provid[e] fresh, healthy and affordable food to everyone.”
Melita Love and her 15 volunteers from Farm to Pantry arrived, buckets in hand, and harvested 885 pounds of tomatoes. They then donated the tomatoes — along with squash plucked from other community members — to the residents of the Salvation Army Residential Center in Healdsburg, CA and the Redwood Gospel Mission in Santa Rosa, CA.
A pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.