Gleaners hit pumpkin patch

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 2, 2009

By Steve Huffman
Volunteers from the Society of St. Andrew gleaned an acre field at the Piedmont Research Station of more than 4,000 pounds of pumpkins and squash earlier this week.
“That’s a lot,” said Kristen Shaben, gleaning coordinator for the Society of St. Andrew.
Gleaning is the act of stripping a field of its remaining yield. Shaben said if the field at the Research Station hadn’t been stripped within days, the remaining produce would have gone to waste.
She said the pumpkins were edible varieties and were delivered to various agencies throughout the area.
“We try as much as possible to keep the food in the county where it was harvested,” Shaben said.
She said the organization operates almost entirely through volunteers. “Everything from the gleaning to the transportation,” Shaben said.
She said the Research Station is one of the largest contributors to the Society of St. Andrew. Shaben said that earlier this year, volunteers gleaned raspberries and blackberries from the Research Station.
“They’re a great partner to have,” Shaben said of the administrators at the Research Station. “They do a great job for us.”
Shaben said volunteer gleaners typically work from mid-May through November. Anyone interested in volunteering with the organization is invited to e-mail Shaben at: She asks that those looking to volunteer include their phone numbers in their e-mails.