Young Farmers and Groovy Kales

Lindsay here, coordinator of Field Gleaning at Inter-Faith Food Shuttle. Yesterday IFFS’s Field Gleaning and Young Farmer Training programs teamed up to accomplish a monumental task: we gleaned 2,824 pounds of kale in less than two hours, during one of the hottest days of the year! Apprentices from our Young Farmer Training Program took a field trip to help glean, along with our gleaning partner Society of Saint Andrew and youth members of White Memorial Presbyterian Church, at Burch Brothers Farms in Faison, NC.

The Young Farmers led teams of youth in a competition to harvest the most kale. The Kalemonsters, Groovy Kales, Camels, and Trouble worked hard and cooperatively for about an hour and a half to figure out the most innovative ways to glean kale, with the Kalemonsters coming out by a hair on top, and winning goody bags of IFFS gear and candy…. Yes, candy. The irony is not lost on me, and in the future I’ll be discussing healthier prize options with our Nutrition Director.

Kale Gleaning competition

Charlie Greg of Burch Brothers Farm graciously took some time to speak with the Young Farmers and answer questions about Burch farming practices. Growing on the farm's large scale is very different than what they have experienced at the Food Shuttle Farm, and they asked great questions to understand the differences.

Kale Gleaning teamwork

What happened to the kale? Most of it has already gone out into communities around Wake and Johnston County. The same afternoon we picked it, victims of the recent tornados were receiving it through our tornado relief program, and likely serving it for dinner.

Kale truck full

Well, I’m pretty sure everyone had fun, and we harvested gorgeous, healthy kale for our communities with limited access to fresh produce. Mission accomplished. Many thanks to our Young Farmers, the youth of White Memorial Presbyterian, our rock solid core gleaning volunteers, Society of Saint Andrew, and especially Burch Brothers Farms! I look forward to working with you all again soon.