Tuesday, September 2, 2014
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 arcrittenden@ucdavis.edu.

“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

     
    Planning begins for Davis Neighbors’ Night Out

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A1

     
    Davis is not immune: Are you ready for a big quake?

    By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    Learn about RNA at Science Café

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Google Glass will be discussed, demonstrated

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Tickets still available for DHS Hall of Fame dinner

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Cuddle up at Project Linus’ meeting

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Public opinion sought about Nishi Gateway

    By Lily Holmes | From Page: A3

     
    International folk dancing offered Sundays

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Got bikes? Donate ‘em!

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Rose garden bricks to be dedicated Saturday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    It’s About Time plays Davis Farmers Market’s Picnic in the Park

    By Anthony Siino | From Page: A3 | Gallery

     
    Register year-round at Davis Chinese School

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A8

     
    .

    Forum

    Tom Meyer cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A4

     
    Have the facts before you judge

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

    Tesla has state walking a tightrope

    By Tom Elias | From Page: A4

     
    Special-needs passengers ignored

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A4

    A cure for Davis’ problems

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A4

     
    A good use for the MRAP

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A4

    Marriage vs. male instinct

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

     
    .

    Sports

    DHS boys looking to replicate a big cross country performance

    By Spencer Ault | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Life without MacDonald starts Friday for DHS

    By Thomas Oide | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Clark recalls his hole-in-one — the first at Davis Golf Course

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Fruits of their Labor Day

    By Sue Cockrell | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    UCD roundup: Aggies edge Quinnipiac in overtime

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2

    Baseball roundup: Aces end River Cats’ season

    By Staff and wire reports | From Page: B3

     
    Sports briefs: Hot Shots basketball tryouts coming up

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B3

    Junior Blue Devils strong in home debut, winning 3 on the field

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B8 | Gallery

     
    .

    Features

    .

    Arts

    .

    Business

    .

    Obituaries

    Elaine Dracia Greenberg

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

     
    .

    Comics

    Comics: Tuesday, September 2, 2014 (set 1)

    By Creator | From Page: B5

     
    Comics: Tuesday, September 2, 2014 (set 2)

    By Creator | From Page: B7