Columbia Gorge Gleaning held a kick-off event on Aug. 13 with a “pedestrian glean” — feet on the ground, no ladders, for participants to take home (ground fruit okay) or to gather for FISH Food Bank (fruit from the tree only). Dave Tallman welcomed the group of 50 or so to the family farm at 3322 Thomsen Road in Pine Grove, south of Hood River. Above, gleaners look for Bartlett pears on the ground; at left, Pam Starling loads up a truck with boxes of pears. Columbia Gorge Gleaning is working to increase the availability of fresh and local produce in food pantries, soup kitchens, and schools. Working with growers and registered volunteers, Columbia Gorge Gleaning will coordinate gleans to salvage and donate quality produce that would otherwise go to waste. Speakers on Aug. 13 included Sarah Sulllivan of Gorge Grown, Ann Harris of Oregon State University, and April Jamison of the Portland Fruit Tree Project, which has coordinated past fruit-gleaning efforts in the valley. “We’re really looking forward to working locally to adapt what our program does to the needs of this community,” Jamison said. For more information about the project go to www.gorgegleaning.org.

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