The Garden at 485 Elm
People growing together:
a collaborative community garden in Montpelier, Vermont

Gleaning — Feeding Those in Need While Improving the Garden

Now, this is partnership.

Today Community Harvest of Central Vermont gleaned 40 pounds of food in less than two hours.  They left The Garden at 485 Elm in better condition than they found it.  In fact, the garden hardly looks touched except where a few entirely flowering plants were pulled up, stripped of edible parts, and composted.

All the food gleaned here today will go to feed people who lack access to fresh produce.  Some is headed to the Montpelier Food Pantry and a bunch to Capstone Community Action (CVCAC).

Reading the carefully compiled list of what to glean.

Allison Levin, Community Harvest’s founder and program coordinator, checks the carefully compiled list from our garden coordinator, Cindy, of what to glean. The gleaners always start with food that is on its last days before becoming compost. Volunteers Cathy and Kasie are ready to pick.










Thinning leaf lettuce about to bolt

Allison, Kasie, and Cathy are thinning leaf lettuce that’s about to bolt.  Some of it is already too bitter to use.  Tasting is part of gleaning.








The more you pick kale plants, the more productive they are.  Volunteers leave at least eight large leaves plus the small inner leaves on each plant.

When picking kale and chard, the gleaners leave at least eight large outer leaves plus all the small inner leaves untouched. The more you pick kale, the more productive it is.








Finding good leaves on flowering arugula

Separating edible leaves from flowering arugula.







Culling flowering Thai basil

Culling the flowering parts from Thai basil







Allison picks bok choy mostly gone to flower

Allison picks bok choy that had almost entirely gone to flower. It yielded one small box of food and a whole lot of compost. Replanting bok choy has been on our garden to-do list.










Weighing & labeling 3.5 lbs bok choy

Each box of food is carefully weighed & labeled. Here are those three pounds of bok choy.







 Each box gets labeled with type of food, weight, & farm name

Each box gets labeled with type of food, weight, & the name of the farm it was gleaned from.







Eight lbs of kale

Eight lbs of kale

Boxed & labeled bok choy