Free Food....Gleaning

Gleaners are keen for fruit

Derek Spalding, The Daily News
Published: Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Terra Bohart drove to Wesley Street in downtown Nanaimo on Tuesday in a small, white GMC pickup. When she arrived, her gleaning team dispersed with ladders, buckets and baskets. Within minutes, they were plucking light green transparent apples from a large, fruitful tree, compliments of a generous chiropractor in the Old City Quarter who does not have time to pick the fruit himself.
The popularity of gleaning has grown as more people realize the abundance of delicious food growing, and often wasted, in their own neighborhoods. Nanaimo Community Gardens has a growing list of ready and available residents waiting for the call to go out and pick unwanted food from people's backyards. With so many gleaners, program organizers are looking for more fruit to pluck.
The process is simple. A resident, who doesn't have time, donates the food in their yards. Gleaners come in, pick the fruit, vegetables, or nuts and then shares the food with the owner. A portion of the picker's pile is often donated to Nanaimo Foodshare and is used to feed hungry families. Gleaning has several benefits: It saves people money on their grocery bill, it decreases the amount of wasted food and it feeds those in need.
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Gleaners from Nanaimo Community Garden Society get started on another season of fruit picking. Jason Kristiansen plucks transparent apples from the backyard of a business on Wesley Street.

Not all emergency food providers can utilize the food because they lack storage facilities for fresh produce, but with the 7-10 Club nearly set to relaunch its full kitchen, some of the gleaned food could once again be used up.
"We try to operate with a one-third sharing (ratio), but often tree owners don't want that much and the pickers could use more," said Lee Sanmiya of Nanaimo Community Garden Society. "Our priority is to make sure the food is not wasted. We encourage participants to take as much as they want and as much as they can share in the community."
Sharing the food is the inspiration for Jason Kristiansen. From the top of a 15-foot ladder, he firmly and consistently pulled apples from the branches and gently placed them into a satchel slung over his shoulder.
He usually takes as much fruit home as he can and shares them with his parents and grandparents. Living in an apartment, growing food at home is not an option, so he regularly shows up for team picks organized by the community garden society. With cherry season behind him, he realizes just how much money the picks can save him.
"At $3 a pound, there is some definite savings there," he said.
Saving money is another incentive. Bohart started gleaning three years ago. For the past two years she's been a pick leader, which means she can be out at least three times a week. The time investment is worth it because she and her family spend less cash at the grocery stores.
"It's an inexpensive way to get unsprayed, fresh fruit," she said.
Depending on the season, however, she can end up with more apples than she can eat. Apples are the most common fruit, starting with transparents in late July and continuing with a variety of strains ripening through until October. Still, nothing goes to waste. With a large juicer, society members can quickly whip up apple juice to share with clients.
Too much food was going to waste before the gleaning program began. In the program's first year, volunteers pulled in 1,156 kilograms of food in just four weeks. As funding increased, so did interest from potential gleaners. The following year, the society hauled away 8,039 kilograms. That successful year has never been matched, but since 2005, when community gardens brought in 5,234 kilograms, the abundance of gleaned food has grown. Even last year, when funding started to disappear, the eager volunteers collected more than they had in most other seasons.
The majority of the food comes from the older neighborhoods, such as the Old City Quarter and Harewood. At least 50% to 75%, according to estimations from Sanmiya. Since that first year, the group has brought in more than 33,000 kilograms of food.
Kristiansen hopes for another abundant season as do most other gleaners, but with the growing popularity of the seasonal program, the society needs more people to donate their food. Apples are the most common food, but the society is more then happy to glean any other food that is not needed and otherwise going to waste.

33 tons
Amount of fruit harvested by gleaning volunteers since 2003.
The Gleaning Season
Cherries mid-July
Transparent apples late July
Plums Aug.- Sept.
Apples (all) Aug. - Oct.
Nuts Sept. -- Nov.
Grapes Sept. - Oct.
Corn Sept.

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bottled water

Presented by Online Education
The Facts About Bottled Water

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Save $ - Green Tip of the Day

#1. Top up your car tire pressure

Get Better Mileage with Properly Inflated Tires
An informal study by students at Carnegie Mellon University found that the majority of cars on U.S. roads are operating on tires inflated to only 80 percent of capacity. According to the website, fueleconomy.gov, inflating tires to their proper pressure can improve mileage by about 3.3 percent, whereas leaving them under-inflated can lower mileage by 0.4 percent for every one PSI drop in pressure of all four tires.

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Fuel Saving Plan

I am going to describe a business concept that applies to a specific location. But I think you might be able to apply the same concept to a geographic location near you.
Current Situation
4 million people travel by ferry from Vancouver to Nanaimo on Vancouver Island every year. 70% travel by car at an average cost of $50 (for the car alone). But the biggest cost of travelling by car is the amount of incremental time required to reach the ferry, line up, and load. At peak times this can reach 2-3 hours of quite unpleasant heavy traffic and waiting in line.
Proposed Solution
Travelling as a "foot" passenger has many advantages
  • Busses go to the ferry from several parts of the city. They are comfortable and circumvent most of the traffic line-ups to the ferry
  • There is at most a 5 minute line-up for foot passengers so you can arrive 15 minutes before the boat leaves worry free.
  • There is a major environmental saving to switch to foot from car. Cars on the ferry are the limiting factor. To increase capacity of the system you need more ferries, bigger ferries, more docking capacity. Also of course, there is a major cost and impact of the fuel used to move all those cars.
What I propose is to create a service where travellers could park their car well outside the high traffic area, board a bus to the ferry, ride as a foot passenger on the ferry, be picked up by a bus at the destination, and be delivered to a car rental agency at their destination.

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You want what?.....a urinal?

You want what?.....a urinal?

It’s hardly a trend, more like a trickle …or a dribble; but increasingly North American men are installing urinals in their homes. Now, they are not gracing the main bathroom or the ensuite where (god forbid) women might be exposed to that most male of fixtures. But they are appearing in workshops, games rooms, man-caves and home offices.  How does this affect the environment-my area of interest? Well, a urinal flush can be set at 2 liters vs. 6 liters (.8 gallons) for a low flush toilette and 18 liters (3.5 gallons) for a regular toilette. But I suspect that the motivation to install a urinal has little to do with the environment and more to do with the . PS Since I now am responsible for toilete cleaning in our home I "get it" about putting the seat down.
                                             Clark Sorensen's Red Hibiscus - Part of the "Nature's Call" Collection

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No-Cost Environmental Strategies

3 No-Cost Steps To Reduce Your Environmental Impact
There are many ways of reducing your environmental impact; unfortunately, many are costly. You may want to consider the following but this article focuses on strategies that actually save you money while reducing environmental impact.
·         Hybrid cars are 20% more expensive than the equivalent gas-powered cars. At current gas prices, analysis suggest that lifetime (of the car) savings do not offset the initial cost premium.
·         Organic vegetables are anywhere from 15% to 30% more expensive than regular and my experience has been that they are often not as fresh
·         Recycled paper  is often 20% more expensive than regular paper
 All require paying a premium

But what if there were ways to contribute to the environment and save money? Here are some practical suggestions:

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Carpet Clean & Deodorize

By Jennifer Patterson, eHow Contributor

updated: January 17, 2011

Remove Carpet Odors & Stains

Carpets add a nice look to the home, but can become dirty, stained and carry odor. Pets can sometimes have accidents on the carpet or things can get spilled, leaving hard-to-remove stains and odor. Hiring a professional cleaner to remove carpet stains and odors can be expensive. You do not need to spend a lot of money to remove carpet stains and odors.

Difficulty: Easy

Things You'll Need:
Baking soda
1/4 cup hydrogen peroxide
Microfiber cloth
Spray bottle
How to Remove Carpet Odors & Stains
1. 1

Clean stains from the carpet as soon as they happen, especially red wine and coffee. The longer they set in, the harder they are to remove. Mix 1/4 cup of peroxide with 2 tbsp. of baking soda in the spray bottle. Leave the remaining baking soda for the last step. Shake the two ingredients together in the bottle until the baking soda dissolves. The hydrogen peroxide will dissolve the stain and the baking soda will eliminate odors instantly.

2. 2

Spray the contents of the spray bottle directly onto the stain. Apply slight pressure to the microfiber cloth and rub away the stain. Rinse the cloth occasionally and repeat spraying and rubbing the stain. Spray some more of the peroxide and baking soda from the bottle onto the stain. Leave it for 15 minutes.

3. 3

Blot the stain and odor area with the microfiber cloth. Rinse and repeat the process until the area is clean. Rub the wet area of the carpet briskly to eliminate most of the wetness. Place a fan in front of the damp area to speed up the drying process. Sprinkle baking soda over the carpet and vacuum it. The baking soda will eliminate any remaining odor. Discard the rest of the peroxide and baking soda from the spray bottle.

Tips & Warnings
Place a slice of raw white potato on stubborn carpet stains to eliminate them.
Keep contents of the spray bottle out of the reach of children. Contents can be toxic if swallowed.

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