Thank you to all tree owners and volunteers who made the 2023 Gleaning Program so successful. Great weather during spring pollination and clear summer skies with occasional rain allowed trees to ripen most of their fruit and the yield was above average. In the Program’s 21st year of operation, 12,045 lbs were picked from June to November. Fruit yield was quite good in the entire region, especially in comparison to 2022 which was a very low yield year on the Island, mainland and into Washington State. Since 2003 the program has harvested and distributed over 250,000 lbs of fruit and produce.
The fruit picking started with cherries then moved to plums, transparent apples, more plums, apples, figs, Asian pears, pears, prune plums, persimmons and kiwis. Local farmers also allowed picks of corn and squash from their fields.
At its height, the Gleaning Program had 79 gleaners which went on 111 picks throughout Nanaimo and region and contributed 358 hours of volunteerism to the Program.
The proportion of produce donated to agencies or left on the Harvest Exchange Table in 2023 was around 45% which is much than a normal year of around 30%. The Harvest Exchange Table was full with a variety of less perishable produce like apples, pears, grapes and squash from July to November.
If you are interested having your tree picked or becoming a volunteer in the 2024 Gleaning Program, check our Gleaning Page in April or email email@example.com ask to be added to the mailing list. You will be send an email in April with orientation dates happening in May and June.