Wednesday, May 6, 2015
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Gleaners comb abandoned UCD broccoli field

Anna-Ruth Crittenden, 19, picks broccoli with fellow student Kase Wheatley. Crittenden led a group of more than 50 people in harvesting an abandoned two-acre broccoli field on the UC Davis campus.

By
January 27, 2011 |

Having outlived their use as a classroom tool, thousands of broccoli heads idled in UC Davis test field, doomed to rot. Then Anna-Ruth Crittenden intervened.

Fresh produce rotting by the ton unsettled the second-year undergraduate. Why not pick it and cook it at home? Or take it to the local food bank?

“People talk about there being a food shortage,” Crittenden, 19, said. “All this food is just sitting here. There’s no reason why there shouldn’t be something in place to get this food to people who can really use it.”

So she had a friend post an ad on Davis Freecycle, a local website that, in the spirit of Craigslist, allows owners to advertise free giveaways. Usually it’s a well-worn TV or a shabby desk. This time it was a field full of broccoli. Crittenden also blasted people she knew with emails.

Since then, an estimated 55 people trekked to the field, which served as a hands-on classroom for agriculture students last year. Some gleaners sliced off a few heads to use at home. Others, like Crittenden, 19,  made numerous trips over multiple days, lopping off hundreds of pounds and schlepping it to the a local service organization.

She wasn’t alone. Fellow student Kase Wheatley helped, along with others. The group donated about 350 pounds of broccoli to the Yolo County Foodbank, Martinez said. The bulk of the donation went to the foodbank’s Mobile Market program, which distributes produce in 19 sites in the county. including four in Davis.

“It’s going to people who are needing it and using it,” said Jose Martinez, executive director.

Other nonprofits enjoyed the bounty as well, including The Episcopal Church of St. Martin and Davis Community Meals’ rotating winter shelter.

Others came to pad their personal stash. Ed Hubbard saw the Freecycle ad. His wife wanted cream of broccoli soup and he works near the field at the Center for Comparative Medicine, he said while combing the rows.

“There’s lots of really good heads of broccoli,” he added, “enough in here to feed all of Davis.”

And if people didn’t come out to cut and pick it, the broccoli “would just rot,” something that “seems like it would be a crime.”

The 2-acre field symbolizes the country’s inadequate food distribution systems, said Robyn Waxman, co-founder of Future Action Reclamation Mob, or FARM. People starve in the United States not because there’s not enough food, but because there’s no way to get the food from the field to, let’s say, a table in the heart of South Sacramento.

More than 49 million United States residents lived in “food insecure households” in 2008, a 37 percent increase from the year before, according to Food Research and Action Center using data from the United States Department of Agriculture.

Young people, like Crittenden and Wheatley, are part of the solution, Waxman said. This week’s harvests are “indicative of the next generation of young people who embrace the idea of helping other people with the expectation of nothing in return.”

Crittenden plans to harvest again at 4 p.m. Friday. Get the location and other information from Crittenden by emailing her at [email protected]

“Just bring a bag, a box, maybe some water,” she said, doling out advice to would-be pickers.

Comments

comments

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

    County supervisors receive positive report on Laura’s Law

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A1

     
    Fix it yourself, with a little help, at Bike Forth

    By Bob Schultz | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    New chemistry building in the works at UCD

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A1

    Bob Dunning: Squeezed by the math on conservation

    By Bob Dunning | From Page: A2

     
    Big Day of Giving surpasses $5 million goal

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2

     
    California regulators approve unprecedented water cutbacks

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    Kids get a peek at the great outdoors

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

    BeerFest expands to include cider

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Heidrick Ag History Center rebranded as California Agriculture Museum

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

    May 11 talk focuses on clean water

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    ‘From Age-ing to Sage-ing’ guides library group

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Crossing lines, on ‘Davisville’

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    ’12 Angry Men’ will screen Friday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Pet Food Express organizes Save a Kitten fundraiser

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    Round up at the registers for Davis schools

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A6Comments are off for this post

     
    Retirees to hear about Woodland’s shade tree campaign

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A6

    Origami lovers will meet at library

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A6

     
    Breast cancer treatment update offered

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A6

    Earth-centered author comes to Avid Reader

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A6

     
    MIND Institute lecture will focus on prenatal exposure to insecticide

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

    Pence Gallery: We’re overflowing with gratitude

    By Natalie Nelson | From Page: A9 | Gallery

     
    Health care documentary will screen at meeting

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

    Who is Ralph Hexter? Chancellor’s No. 2 fills us in

    By Tanya Perez | From Page: A10 | Gallery

     
    .

    Forum

    Injection wells endanger our aquifers

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B4

     
    New book flows with good news about water

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B4 | Gallery

    Living with this for 30 years

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

     
    .

    Sports

    Aggies go flat in 7-1 Sacramento State win at Raley

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Devils crush Edison to earn McClatchy rematch

    By Evan Ream | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Blue Devils grind out a victory over Oak Ridge

    By Thomas Oide | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Davis boys dominate first playoff match

    By Spencer Ault | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Alliance/Legacy roundup: Local squads fare well over the weekend

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B3 | Gallery

     
    AYSO roundup: Davis teams capture Fog Classic crowns

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B3 | Gallery

    Pro baseball roundup: Giants blank Pads, win fifth straight

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B10

     
    .

    Features

    .

    Arts

    Sac Ballet presents Modern Masters on May 8-9

    By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A7

     
    High school artists exhibited at Pence Gallery

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7

     
    See Christian Quintin’s paintings at Hattie Weber Museum

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7

    Academy of St. Martin in the Fields Chamber Ensemble returns

    By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A7 | Gallery

     
    Davis Youth Flute Choir tunes up for China tour

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A8

    .

    Business

    .

    Obituaries

    .

    Comics

    Comics: Wednesday, May 6, 2015

    By Creator | From Page: B5