Last Wednesday, AmeriCorps VISTA Sharah Truett hosted a raspberry and loganberry group glean.
“What exactly is a loganberry?” was the question of the day. Gleaners got to taste for themselves that loganberries are a delightful dark purple cross between a raspberry and a blackberry.
The homeowner had an immaculate garden, all organically grown, with not a weed in sight. It was surrounded by a lush native forest and a rippling creek. The group picked diligently for about 2 hours and got to taste five different kinds of berries. New gleaners were able to socialize, make friends, and meet others with similar interests. After the gleaners ate their fill and took a bit home for their own freezers and pie making experiments, the rest of the fruit was transported to different emergency food organizations in the community. Some went to senior nutrition programs, some to the food banks and some to the Boys and Girls Club. The children at the Boys and Girls Club surrounded the berries like wild hyenas cornering a herd of antelope, with a special hungry gleam in their eyes for the golden raspberries.
Overall it was a stellar day, with much fun had by everyone, and many purple-stained hands and faces all around. However, one small mishap occurred on the drive to the food bank. An unexpected pedestrian stumbled out in front of the gleaning van, causing the driver to brake suddenly to avoid them, and a box of luscious, ripe, sun-warmed loganberries spilled to the carpeted floor. Now no longer able to donate these berries due to the large amount of carpet fur clinging to them, yet unwilling to throw them into the compost like a normal person, Sharah took the berries home. She washed them as best she could, and lovingly served them to her husband as “Hairy-Berry pie”, which he ate with gusto, despite having to stop periodically and pick out bits of carpet fuzz.