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This Bible-Era Solution For Saving Food Is Making A Comeback

(COMMON DREAMS) Joseph Erbentraut, Augst 13, 2016 — Audrey Berman is no stranger to the farming life.

Over the last three years, Berman has worked on various farms in New York’s Hudson Valley with the intention of one day starting her own farm. But it wasn’t too long before she started to notice disheartening trends.

“We always had to plant more than we could actually harvest ourselves,” Berman told The Huffington Post. “And the demographic we were selling [our food] to was a little more wealthy and well-to-do while, at the same time, good food wasn’t accessible to everyone and a lot of that had to do with affordability. It started to bother me.”

She began to research what she could do about it. And that led to the launch earlier this year of Long Table Harvest, a food recovery group.

Led by Berman and co-founder Laura Engelman, the group works with 16 farms in the Hudson Valley to collect their surplus fruits and vegetables — which would otherwise go to waste — and distribute them to food pantries, community organizations and other charities throughout the region.

A certain amount of surplus is practically inevitable on farms. Farmers plant more crops than they’ll need for their buyers to protect against losses from pests, weather and other issues. Oftentimes, it’s cheaper for farms to let the surplus rot in the fields rather than pay for the labor to harvest it.

Each Monday, Berman and her small team travel to their donor farms to pick up market leftovers and other extras farms have to offer. They fill up their van and drop off the proceeds at their recipient sites.

In June, the organization was picking up about 940 pounds of produce a week. Two months later, that number has grown to about 1,100 weekly pounds of summer staples like watermelon, cantaloupe, peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes and corn.

Source: This Bible-Era Solution For Saving Food Is Making A Comeback