Give Now

Earth Eats: Real Food, Green Living

Gardener Seeks Eater: Finding Good Homes For Excess Produce

Pick My Crop connects gardeners with excess produce with eaters in their area to save fresh food from a rotten fate.

orange tree

Photo: miggslives (Flickr)

One posting on Pick My Crop offers locals the opportunity to snag up to 20 oranges from a backyard tree.

Bounty From The Garden

Even though the season just started in Fairfield, California, Michelle Beckham is already harvesting carrots and onions. While she says she’s having no problem eating them now, come later in the growing season, she’ll have more than she knows what to do with, in spite of her best efforts to give away extra food to friends and to preserve vegetables.

That’s where her website Pick My Crop comes in.

This community forum puts gardeners in touch with eaters in their area so excess produce doesn’t rot off their trees or get left behind in their garden. One recent post complains of too many oranges falling from the backyard tree. The posting’s recommended pick-up method: “Come and take a bag!”

Waste Not, Want Not

Saving excess food from a rotten fate has been taking place for as long as people have been growing food. Gleaning saves crops missed by mechanical harvesters or ones that don’t meet aesthetic standards required by supermarkets.

When it comes to growing too much food, it often makes more financial sense for farmers to leave the crops in the field than to spend the time and money to harvest them.

As a result, the USDA says 96 billion pounds of pre-consumer food goes to waste annually in the United States.

Green Thumbs Unite

The site was launched in April 2012 and includes the following categories: flowers, fruits, herbs, plants, rock, soil, vegetables and wood.

“The ultimate goal is to encourage more people to get out and garden,” says Beckham.

Annie Corrigan

Annie Corrigan is a producer and announcer for WFIU. In addition to serving as the local voice for NPR's Morning Edition, she produces WFIU's weekly sustainable food program Earth Eats. She earned degrees in oboe performance from Indiana University and Bowling Green State University.

View all posts by this author »

What is RSS? RSS makes it possible to subscribe to a website's updates instead of visiting it by delivering new posts to your RSS reader automatically. Choose to receive some or all of the updates from Earth Eats:

Support For Indiana Public Media Comes From

About Earth Eats

Search Earth Eats

Earth Eats on Twitter

Earth Eats on Flickr

Harvest Public Media