GEARING UP FOR ANOTHER GREAT AMERICAN HARVEST
Never say, "Never again."
Although she swore last fall she wouldn't do it again, the Spud Bud is organizing a second annual Great American Harvest.
Barbara "Spud Bud" Harris got in the middle of something way bigger than she ever imagined last year when she decided to harvest a single acre of corn that was going to go to waste.
Before she knew it, she had more corn, potatoes and people on her property than she knew what to do with. But what really made the harvest so "Great" and so "American" was that all the produce was free and all the people were volunteers. People came to work for food not only for themselves, but to share with others.
So, instead of one acre of free corn, Harris has two growing on her place this year. She has also planted another three-quarters of an acre in mainly peas and beans with some odds and ends of other vegies.
"The peas are going to be out of this world, but the first bunch will be ready to harvest in two to three weeks. If I can find some people willing to help, we can keep picking them all summer long.
Harris has already been in contact with Angela Wittnau last year's right-hand and other key volunteers. She has verbal commitments from most of the potato growers who donated the gleanings of their fields after harvest last year and an anthropology class from Eastern Oregon University has expressed interest in the work of gleaning.
Basically, the rules from last year are still the same.
"Take only what you can use and give away the extra. You cannot sell it," Harris says.
Last year, produce was shared with schools, food banks, the elderly, the housebound, churches and more. As far as Harris knows, everyone abided by the rules that dealt with her.
"What I need now, is someone to help me organize this thing before we get into the full swing of harvest," Harris says.
She would like to get a database built of gleaners, packers, pickers, producers and even the businesses who donated food, water and ice last year. She is hoping all who were involved in 2004 will be part of the 2005 harvest, but will need more than that to handle the the doubled corn.
"There are a lot of hungry people out there," she says.
For information on how to help, call Harris at 786-1821.