EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ - Giamarese Farms on Fresh Ponds Road was busy, even on this rainy day. The gleaners had arrived from Cook Campus at Rutgers University and they were hard at work in the apple orchard. Some of the gleaners were students from Dr. Jack Rabin's "Sustainable Agriculture" class at Cook, while others were members of Rutgers Against Hunger (RAH.) Farmers Against Hunger (FAH) were gleaning, too, gathering the Jona Gold and Golden Delicious apples that still hung on the trees or that had recently fallen to the ground. Despite the rain and the gloomy clouds, it was a beautiful day in East Brunswick.
What is gleaning? Gleaning is an ancient farming practice in which farmers would leave an area, often the four corners of a crop area, unharvested so that the poor of the surrounding area could gather some fruits and vegetables to feed themselves and their families. Gleaning is an act of charity, a tzedakah, a good deed. This late harvest gleaning at Giamarese Farms was organized by Rutgers University to provide fressh greens and fruits to local food banks and soup kitchens like Elijah's Promise or the Franklin Food Bank.