The first step to focus on currently, is to compile a calendar of what plants are in season when, so we can plan our gleaning one fruit at a time. This is what I have so far, but my memory of last year is patchy, so if you could add fruits and dates of your estimation, that would be greatly appreciated!
April: Nettles, dandelions
June: Salmonberries? Cherries?
July: Strawberries --> Raspberries --> Blueberries
August: Yellow plums! --> Purple Itlalian Plums --> Blackberries!
Septmeber: Pears? Grapes?
This is just a working list! Please, feel free to add, and correct me if I'm wrong about these timings.
After the calendar is more solid, we can decide what is doable, and where seasons overlap which ones take priority, etc. The calendar is going to be much more extensive than what we will actually going to accomplish in a season, but it will be nice to have and be aware of everything that's in season, to maybe break into smaller, more intimate groups for less-abundant, more tedious projects, or u-pick berries that cost money, for instance. As far as urban gleaning, I'm thinking of mainly yellow plums, blackberries, and apples just because they are so plentiful and available.
The next step (or happening simultaneously) is to make the connections with fruit trees and equiptment. This will likely turn into two lists: a list of trees and the owners contact info (if applicable), and a resource list for neccessary equiptment. Share to Build will be a great resource for us for both tools and trees. http://www.sharetobuild.com/ Craigslist can be a good means of making connections as well. Also, we need to decide what to make out of our gatherings! There will probably be two parts to these projects: first the gleaning, then the preserving, which people are free to attend both or either, depending on schedules and such.
This group is just a baby, so please, please don't hesitate to comment and share whatever thoughts, concerns, inspiration, connections, etc. about gleaning and food preservation.
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