Gleaning: To gather grain or other produce left by reapers.

The ancient practice of gleaning (think Ruth in the Bible) still has some very practical applications today.

Actually, we practiced it just yesterday. Some dear friends have a large strawberry bed full of luscious berries. (Yes, I will admit to envy when I see their beautiful and bountiful bed!)

After picking for over 2 hours on Saturday evening, our friends decided they just couldn’t keep up with all the berries.

So they asked us in church on Sunday if we would like to come and pick the rest of the patch. We were dressed in our Sunday clothes, it had just rained, and I had company coming for Sunday dinner. So of course I said “Sure!”

I borrowed some buckets, took off my shoes and waded into the strawberry bed with my oldest son and husband. We quickly and carefully picked two buckets, washed our hands off and invited our friends to join us for lunch to say thank you.

Gleaning can bring you some wonderful, free produce, but there are some things to remember.

  • Always pick at a time it is most convenient for the owner, even if you need to rearrange your schedule.
  • Remember that when dealing with produce, it needs to be picked when ripe, not when it’s convenient.
  • Always bring your own containers.
  • Be courteous and careful in their garden and yards.
  • A small thank you gift or note is always a nice touch, maybe some homemade jam or fresh loaf of bread.

Gleaning is an ancient idea that still has Thrifty value for today.

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