Over the last few years, we have had some interest in having a gleaning program in Medicine Hat.
Gleaning is a tradition spoken of in ancient religious texts of gathering a group to harvest produce that's left in the field for various reasons. It is a term that has come back into use as people want to prevent food waste by harvesting fruit from trees and bushes that may otherwise go to waste. This commonly happens when a homeowner has an abundance of crop that they don't have the physical ability or the time to harvest and they would like to see it go to good use. Many communities in Canada have founded organizations to assemble volunteers to pick these "leftovers". The volunteers either split the pickings among themselves or divide them among the homeowner, food banks and the volunteers.
We have found a free program online which allows property owners to list their fruit and allows those who wish to glean to find those locations.
In order for this to be successful, we would ask that you sign up on this free website and encourage those you know with fruit to pick to register their trees and bushes. If they are not computer savvy, perhaps you could assist them with listing their trees.
The website is: www.ripenear.me
Our hope is that the use of this website will connect those in the community who wish to prevent food waste with people who are interested in using and preserving local food.