Gleaning traces its origin to an old French word glener, which is itself rooted in the Latin verb, glan(n)are, meaning to gather. In modern English, gleaning boasts three different meanings: (1) to gather produce left from the main harvest, (2) to assemble slowly, bit by bit and (3) to discover something new.
Agnès Varda's Les glaneurs et la glaneuse weaves together these three layers of meaning in a moving documentary. I saw this film over 10 years ago and I still clearly remember it. The narrative, the images and the accents of the various gleaners brought me back to my youth... For a taste of Les glaneurs et la glaneuse, here is the opening four minutes of the film:
As can be seen even in this short introduction, Varda explores both rural and urban gleaning practices. The local community program, Peterborough Gleans, has traditionally focused on ways to harvest produce left in the fields. While the program continues to search for farmers with which to connect, new initiatives are in the work for the coming growing season.
To maximize the use of the harvest, Peterborough Gleans is launching a canning series, starting with a free Safe Food Handling Course on February 6th and 13th. The course will take place at George Street United Church (534 George St. N.) in Peterborough, starting at 6:30 pm. If you want to enrol, or for more information, call 705.749.9977.
Another new initiative this year is the Tree For The Picking which will enable gleaners to collect nut and fruits that are not being harvested in the city.
To hear more about these exciting new opportunities, join us at the Gleaning Gathering scheduled for Thursday, January 31st at 6:30 pm at George Street United Church. We will tell you all about the program, its benefits and ways in which you can become involved, either as a participant or as a volunteer.
Look forward to meeting you there!