Zahdraka Farm in Essex to do some gleaning with Gather Baltimore.
For those of you who may not know what gleaning is, it's a tradition (with deep roots at least in Judaism, though I'm sure it has other resonances) of gathering food from the fields that was not harvested/sold, and distributing it to the poor.
Gather Baltimore is a keen organization that has been around for a bit, but (so they told us when we were out there) is only recently scaling up and organizing to have regular volunteers. It started out as a couple of guys and their friends collecting unsold food from the Baltimore Farmers' Market, and has rapidly expanded. They're now partnered with (among other places - but as one guy told me, they need to work with places that can accept literally tons of food, which not every small service organization can) the Franciscan Center, Our Daily Bread, and Movable Feast, and the guy who started the whole thing is currently an Open Society Fellow.
(I can't fix the weird picture placement. It's a blog. Live with it).
Ultimately, Ruth hooked up with the other little girl there (who was "five and nine-tenths") and they proceeded to smash their boots through every ice-frosted puddle of water within half a mile. By the time we were done with the kale rows, as you can see, Ruth was pretty thoroughly be-mudded. We hadn't thought ahead to bring a change of clothes, so the cold mud and soaked-through boots meant that we needed to head out. But Ruth had fun, as did Melissa and I, and we're looking forward to going back the next time they have a volunteer day.
Next time, we'll bring waterproof pants and/or a change of clothes!