newokie1019September 12, 2012

Hello all,

We just moved to the Oklahoma City area and I was hoping to find a farm that would allow us to pick our own produce or glean, since I am not prepared to start a garden until next spring. (And I am totally new to the whole gardening thing, so I am expecting to kill everything for a few years until I get the hang of it...) However, I haven't been having much luck with my internet search - so far the only places I've found either don't have contact info or are permanently closed! (Well, I take that back - there are some that only have produce that are done for the season, like berries.) Does anyone know of a farm in or near Oklahoma City that has apples, pears, etc that allow picking? Or anyone have an elderly neighbor that would let us pick in exchange for cash or a part of the harvest? Or anyone have extra that they would let us harvest? Thanks so much for any ideas in advance!

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I saw a few places listed recently in Craigslist. It was maybe a month ago. Sometimes in the newspaper Daily Oklahoman in the classifieds there will be a category called, I think IIRC, food basket or something like that. And IIRC I think you will see that on a Friday or Saturday paper.

Oh and you might go down to the Farmers Market at OSU 4th and Portland and ask around. Only open on Saturday from 8am to 1pm. Ask a lot of the vendors, and ask to speak to the man who runs the show down there.

You might contact the Urban Harvest at the Regional Food Bank. They might be able to advise you of some places that allow it.

Please let us know what you find out.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2012 at 11:27PM
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Okiedawn OK Zone 7

After this long, hot and very dry summer, I am not sure if there will be anyone that has enough of anything left to glean.

Sometimes on your local Freecycle site you will see people offering green tomatoes or excess pears in fall if you'll come harvest them yourselves. With the fruit, often it is elderly people who no longer want to deal with the harvest from an old pear tree that's been in their yard for many years, but who don't want the fruit to be wasted either.

In my neighborhood, we have an informal gleaning network, where one gardener will call another and say something like "We've canned all the tomatoes we're gonna can this year. There's plenty left if you want to come pick some." Or, a fellow gardener will see me out working in the garden and stop by and say "there's a lot of corn (or squash or whatever) left in the garden if you want to come pick some. We've picked all we're gonna use." I love having gardening neighbors like that. Most of the ones I know have a garden 3 or 4 times larger than mine so they always have lots of excess produce due to the size of their garden, but how much extra they have in any given year varies depending on how many of their adult children are coming and gleaning too. The last two years, though, no one has had that kind of a surplus, except maybe with tomatoes this year. Most of us canned tomatoes until we couldn't can another one and couldn't bear to look at one more either.

Building relationships with local friends and neighbors who garden often result in that sort of an informal gleaning network. Sometimes we just leave a bag of tomatoes on someone's porch if they aren't home when we drop by, and we know they found the tomatoes because we'll come home and find a bag of apricots or a watermelon on our porch! Sometimes friends who have fruit trees just show up with a grocery bag of tree fruit and say "I thought maybe you could use these". I never turn down a kind offer like that. If I can the fruit, I make a point of giving some of the canned produce back to the folks who gave us the fruit. Neighborhood gleaning and sharing like this is a priceless gift of friendship. We also share seeds and transplants that way at planting time too.


    Bookmark   September 13, 2012 at 8:55AM
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A friend asked if I could use some plums and I said yes. The next morning she called to say she had a five gallon bucket picked and sitting on her back porch and to come and get them. I took her 15 pounds of sugar since I knew she still had pears to do.

I got enough for a batch of jam of another kind of plum from Al's grandmother, then 2 bushels of apples from my son. All of this came after I had bought strawberries, cherries and blueberries and had them finished. My son and DIL aren't big apple lovers and they have one apple tree that is a heavy producer. I only wanted 2 bushel this year, and when we drove over to get them they had already picked 7 bushel and had a lot more left to pick. I think they gave almost all of them away. I made some Apple Pie Jam, but dehydrated most of the apples this year.

Another friend gives us corn almost every year, and we buy a beef from him. It all works out great, doesn't it?

    Bookmark   September 13, 2012 at 12:14PM
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