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Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Gleaning Vegetables in the Heart of Wine Country

Posted By on Wed, Aug 3, 2011 at 7:30 AM

click to enlarge Still from the Perennial Plate's episode in Healdsburg.
  • Still from the Perennial Plate's episode in Healdsburg.

Gleaning is not a subject that comes up much in high-density San Francisco, which is located far enough from fields and large-scale gardens that we can romanticize the idea of an overbountiful harvest. But in more agricultural areas, so much goes to waste that gleaning represents a huge opportunity for society -- diverting fresh fruits and vegetables to people who don't have easy access to them.

Gleaning in Healdsburg is the subject of this week's episode of Daniel Klein and Mirra Fine's charming Web TV show, The Perennial Plate (tagline: "Adventurous and sustainable eating"). Klein, who's cooked at places like the Fat Duck in London and Craft in New York, and Fine are two Minnesotans who spent last year cooking off the land and are now traveling around the country. They've just swung through the Bay Area.

Last week, the two followed Samin Nosrat as she gathered ingredients from local farmers for a popup dinner she cooked at Tartine Bakery. And this week, they join Farm to Pantry, a Healdsburg organization that gleans produce from farms and gardens -- almost 50,000 pounds to date -- and donates the fresh produce to places like the soup kitchen at the Redwood Gospel Mission. "The folks who grow the food and wine here have to be on the receiving end of free food?" Klein asks Farm to Pantry founder Melita Love. "Isn't that kind of ironic?" Yes, it is. 

The Perennial Plate Episode 64: California Gleaning from Daniel Klein on Vimeo.


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