July 19, 2011

4-H Troop Gleaning Greens

Last week the Okanogan 4-H troop "River Ridge Kids" gleaned fresh local salad greens from Shannon Gilbert's farm, "8th Street Greens", an organic CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) located within Okanogan city limits.

Six 4-H troop members and three troop leaders harvested thirty-six pounds of greens in an hour and a half!! The troop also bagged 1/2 pound portions for food bank distribution and plan on touring the Okanogan food bank to complete the gleaning cycle. The "River Ridge Kids" have chosen gleaning as their troop project this summer. Okanogan County Community Action Council (O.C.C.A.C.) couldn't be happier with their choice. The gleaning coordinator, AmeriCorps VISTA Sara Gerlitz arranged the glean through existing collaborative success between the O.C.C.A.C.'s "Food For All" program and local farmers.

"Food For All" strives to improve nutrition availability to low-income people by harvesting produce that would otherwise be tilled under. "Food For All" also teaches harvesting skills through hands-on gleaning, promotes education about the food bank system as an essential component to uplifting our community. O.C.C.A.C. plays that pivotal role within our region linking everyone from farm to food bank to table in dynamic ways.

Thanks again to "River Ridge Kids" & "8th Street Greens" for supporting fresh, healthy produce and nutrition!

July 8, 2011

Raspberry Fields Forever

Yesterday our first farm glean of the season was a success at BunnyLaine Farm in Malott. Two volunteers, one hour, eight pounds of raspberries. We are grateful to have this opportunity to provide super fresh, super local and organic berries to our food bank clients in the hope that the sweet taste of summer will encourage them to savor the flavor of healthy, local, nutritious food. We want to thank farmer Dave Morgan for allowing us this opportunity to come onto his land and work within his fields. Without the support and trust of our donors, gleaning would not be possible.

We also want to give thanks to two AmeriCorps volunteers serving from Inter-Mountain Americorps, Caitlin Baker and Jon Son who are finishing up their respective terms of service within the north-central Washington region. The two volunteers served nine months within our schools helping Omak East Elementary students improve their reading skills and also provided tutoring in all subjects to secondary school students in Pateros.

July 6, 2011

July Jungle

The Food For All garden is growing strong. So strong, we're trellising and forming out square foot gardened planted veggies. Here's a peak of our progress. If you'd like to volunteer to harvest this bounty, swing by the Community Action building on Mondays and Thursdays from 8-11am and help this garden grow.