Monday, November 23, 2015

Clean Girls & Dirty Carrots, by Catherine Nichols, Somerset Public Health

"As a brand new AmeriCorps Volunteer in Service to America (VISTA) working for the Anti-Hunger Opportunity Corps at Somerset Public Health I was excited to start working towards an increase in food security for Somerset County. My supervisor was really excited for me to create a volunteer gleaning program for the county, but there were two problems…
Carrot gleaning at Kate Mrozicki's Morgan Bay Farm

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Wild Apple Stories

"It takes a savage or wild taste to appreciate a wild fruit." (Henry David Thoreau, Wild Apples)

From light soft yellow in our backyards as we wake up to the end of summer, to wild red orange and pink tones coating the sides of our repaved roads; and then the bright green popping out from the woods leading us home from work at dusk.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Owed to Interns

When you two spectacular ladies were introduced to gleaning for the first time this Spring, I had no idea you would become the essential part of the Hancock County Gleaning Initiative's 2015 season that you are. Without you out there gleaning this season there would have been three times less food, sometimes it would not have happened, it certainly would not have been so fun, and there would certainly be fewer gleaning girl jokes, #getitgirl. And not to mention the amazing vegetable rhymes we all came up with. I saw laughter and I saw tears, but who I really saw was you my dears!
The following was written by special guest blogger, Katrina Fennelly, who spent her summer break from college interning with Healthy Acadia’s Gleaning and Healthy General Stores Initiatives.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Spinach Revisited

Exactly two years ago to this day I fumbled my way through a row of spinach at Four Season Farm, getting a grand total of 8lbs of spinach, most of which got taken to the Emmaus Center in Ellsworth. Eliot Coleman set me up with a knife and some plastic bags and showed me what to do. I filled two bags and quit; honestly it felt a little strange. I remember using the spinach to bribe my first volunteers, giving a bag of spinach to anyone at the University of Maine Cooperative Extension 2013 Plant Sale who would sign up to be a gleaner.

This Spring 2015 we have exceeded our spinach gleaning expectations and increased by 50 times the amount gleaned in 2013. With crates, and harvesting knives, a lot more experience and 5 powerful volunteers (Kristin Witting, Paula Mrozicki, Little D, Christina Fortin and Katrina Fennelly) we gleaned 25 crates of spinach, were able to distribute 450lbs (4500 servings) to 10 food pantries and meal sites, reaching over 1,000 families in Hancock County through the following food security organizations: Simmering Pot Community Meal and Tree of Life Food Pantry in Blue Hill, Bucksport Community Concerns Food Pantry, H.O.M.E Co-op in Orland, Dinner is Served and Island Pantry in Deer Isle & Stonington, The Welcome Table, Emmaus Center and Loaves and Fishes Food Pantry in Ellsworth, and the Bar Harbor Food Pantry. All pantries and community meal sites that were open last week were contacted, others who were not open were not contacted; more will come. Thank you all for the amazing work you do to address food security in Hancock County. Contact your local food pantry by going to Healthy Acadia's website -

Healthy Acadia and UMaine Cooperative Extension's Gleaning Initiative serves over 30 food security organizations in Hancock and Washington counties. Please be in touch for more information at / (207) 667 7171

NOTE: The pictures below were taken and provided by Brendan Bullock, a photographer who is working on a collaborative project commissioned by the Mainers Feeding Mainers Program of Good Shepherd Food Bank, and Maine Farmland Trust, documenting food access projects in Maine.