09 August 2007

The Gleaner

The Gleaner, originally uploaded by foodchronicles.

Each Thursday morning an older woman peruses our street. Most morning walkers are not so determined in their quest. I've noticed her before, and thought "what an interesting thing to do".

When I was a young girl I was told the story of the gleaners. Women who entered a field, at the end of the days harvest, and gleaned the leftover crops left behind by the harvest team. Every time I watch a field being reaped I think of the gleaners. There is always something left behind by mechanized harvest equipment. There have been times, I just wanted to pull over and step into the newly turned earth and find the treasures of the field. A potato, a melon deemed too small, a few over ripe tomatoes, just about anything could be found I presume.

daily walk

So back to the woman on my street every Thursday morning. She's a gleaner. We pride ourselves, we Americans. We have excess, we waste a lot. This woman has chosen to glean from our excess. She has checked her pride, left it home, grabbed a good bag or two and fishes for treasures from our trash cans. Interestingly, I find that I respect her ability to charge forth without concern for her surroundings or situation.

checking for treasure

What can you leave for the gleaner? What do you glean?