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Earth Eats: Real Food, Green Living

Gleaning For the Food Bank and Making Bagna Cauda

How many bulbs of garlic will you need when you're making Bagna Cauda? Food Historian Simone Cinotto has the answer. Also, gleaning with the HH Food Bank.

  • gleaners

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    Photo: Kayte Young

    Sara Swan leads volunteers in gleaning banana peppers.

  • harriman retail

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    Photo: Kayte Young

    The retail shop and green house at Harriman Farms in Spencer Indiana.

  • sara crates

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    Photo: Kayte Young

    Sara Swan prepares the crates in the back of the HHFB van, lovingly nicknamed "Baracuda" or "Cuda," for short.

  • road

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    Photo: Kayte Young

    The bumpy road between the pumpkin field and the pepper field.

  • sara cuda

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    Photo: Kayte Young

    Sara Swan gets out her harvest bag before heading into the pepper field.

  • sara harvest

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    Photo: Kayte Young

    Sara Swan, Garden and Gleaning Coordinator for the Hoosier Hills Food Bank, picks banana peppers from a field at Harriman Farms.

  • perfect pepper

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    Photo: Kayte Young

    An example of a perfect banana pepper, one that would be easy to sell at market. It is large, bright yellow, with no purple or red tint.

  • peppers

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    Photo: Kayte Young

    These peppers have begun to ripen beyond the yellow stage, and are not considered suitable for market. However, they are perfectly fine to eat, and Swan claims they taste even better when they begin to turn red.

  • pepper crates

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    Photo: Kayte Young

    The crates fill up quickly in the back of the van. They'll be stacked 3 high, and filled with peppers before noon.

  • will harriman

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    Photo: Kayte Young

    Will Harriman is the owner of the farm where HHFB gleans the most. He has been partnering with HHFB for nearly ten years, allowing them to harvest from his fields for donation to the food bank.

  • tomato harvest

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    Photo: Kayte Young

    Harriman has more efficient harvesting methods for the produce that goes to market. The equipment pictured here, Harriman built himself.

  • squash retail

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    Photo: Kayte Young

    Though Harriman mostly sells his produce wholesale, some of it goes to his sister's retail shop, on-site at Harriman Farms in Spencer, Indiana.

  • soy

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    Photo: Kayte Young

    Harriman farms is a mix of typical Indiana commodity crops of corn and soy beans, and vegetables such as tomatoes, peppers and squash.

Today on our show we head out to a farm in South Central Indiana to glean some peppers with the Hoosier Hills Food Bank.

The Hoosier Hills Food Bank in Bloomington Indiana serves as a distribution point for food pantries and soup kitchens in a 6 county region.

Before I started producing earth eats, I worked at the largest of those food pantries, Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard. Our focus was healthy food, and we brought in as much fresh produce as possible. It was my job to share simple ways to prepare vegetables like rainbow chard and zucchini.

So often what you find in food pantries are picked over fruits and vegetables, food that’s been shipped from far away, and then sat on the shelves too long.

It was great when we’d get pallets full of beautiful, local produce–greens that I knew had just been harvested. It felt good to share top-notch produce with folks who were used to settling for lower quality or rescued food.

We got that kind of food because of the Hoosier Hills Food Bank’s Garden and Gleaning program.

They have their own garden, which is more like a small farm, where they grow rows of vegetables from March through October. They also take volunteer crews out to local farms to glean produce from the fields.

Sara Swan is the food bank’s Garden and Gleaning Coordinator. I met her and a group of volunteers out at Harriman Farms in Spencer, Indiana. I wanted to see what gleaning looks like, on the ground.

Later in the show we spend some time in the kitchen with Italian Food Historian, Simone Cinotto, making an historic sauce served with seasonal vegetables.


Stories On This Episode

Bagna Cauda


This traditional sauce from Italy is not served over pasta. Instead, it's a hot dip for a variety of seasonal vegetables.

Brewers Join Forces With Bakers To Curb Waste

A glass of beer sits next to a bread board at a pub

Companies in the US ad UK have found ways to recycle grains wasted to make bread and beer.

As Climate Changes, So Does Quality Of Food 


Plants are absorbing more carbon dioxide from the air, increasing both the process of photosynthesis and levels of glucose found in their products.

Kayte Young

Kayte Young discovered her passion for growing, cooking, foraging and preserving fresh food when she moved to Bloomington in 2007. With a background in construction, architecture, nutrition education and writing, she brings curiosity and a love of storytelling to a show about all things edible. Kayte raises bees, a small family and a yard full of food in Bloomington’s McDoel Gardens neighborhood.

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