Recently I was talking with my Mom about a farm that was down the street from my suburban LA home (yes, there used to be many farms in So Cal) and she told me that we were allowed to pick veggies from the fields after the farmer was done harvesting. How about that, I was a gleaner and didn’t even know it. More of life’s lesson. Fantastic.
Here are the first potatoes we have picked this season, some of which we had for dinner last night.
And the original inspiration.
The Gleaners by François Millet, 1857
In this depiction of the rural life of nineteenth century France, we see three female figures gathering the leftovers after the harvest. This practice – known as gleaning – was traditionally part of the natural cycle of the agricultural calendar undertaken by the poor, and was regarded as a right to unwanted leftovers. Although the practice of agricultural gleaning has gradually died away due to a number of historical factors (including industrialization and the organization of social welfare for the poor), there are nonetheless still people in the present day that we might understand to be gleaners.
I hope you glean much from your day!