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MercerMe is excited to feature a series of articles written by Hopewell Valley Central High School students, originally published in the Bulldog Reporter.

You may ask yourself, “what is this?” For those unfamiliar, it is the harvest of “leftover crops” from local farms for local food pantries and low-income areas. For various reasons, farmers may be unable to harvest the entirety of their crop; gleaning allows the extra bounty, rich in healthful nutrients, to be shared with those in need of a meal.

Gleaned vegetables are given to food pantries and other charitable institutions in places such as Philadelphia and Trenton. Thus far, 267,000 pounds (or more than one million servings of food) have been provided.

Last June, senior Mia Mummert met with Cathy Snyder, founder of gleaning organization Rolling Harvest Food Rescue to learn how CHS students could become more involved with the process locally. The end-result of their meeting was the formation of Hopewell Valley Glean Team.

The Glean Team met several times over the Summer and Fall at local farms including Blue Moon Acres (on Titus Mill Road), Gravity Hill Farm (on Pleasant Valley Road), and Nonesuch Farm (in Buckingham, PA). The crops harvested included garlic, turnips, potatoes, lettuce, and tomatoes. As Winter nears, the Glean team will be focusing on more root vegetables, and Winter crops.

Active members of the include Kira Olander, Owen Clarke, Caelin Murphy, Astrid Hunter, Deborah Keen, Jack Sprague, Devyn Montemarano, and Eric Olaya. The work is hard, but those participating have fun.

“Getting peers to come farming with me is very rewarding,” says Mia Mummert, “because although they were hesitant to dig up potatoes or weed garlic rows, everyone ended up enjoying it. So far I’ve had a really wonderful experience, and everyone else has too.” Other members describe the experience as rewarding and hope to see the group continue its work while growing over the next months and years.

By Astrid Hunter, a 12th grade student at CHS and a contributing writer for the CHS Newspaper, The Bulldog Reporter.

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