What's Left Behind...

November 4, 2014


It is bean harvest in our area right now. 
 Historically, we should have had the first freeze of the season about two weeks ago.
 As we have "late" beans, we are grateful that the freeze has been late.
 On our way to Rancho 25 today we passed a farm where the bean
 harvest is complete...at least according to the farmer who owns the farm. 
 For others the harvest is just beginning.


This is what a professional Gleaner looks like. 
 He along with several other people come to the farms that have been mechanically
 harvested and glean what has been left behind by the large equipment.
 It was really fun to see how he was going about his harvest. 
 He walked through the "harvested" field finding bunches of beans that had 
been overlooked. He then made a pile of the dried plants. He had laid out a 
small tarp, he then placed the dried bean plants on top of the tarp. 
 With a large, well used stick he began beating the 
dried plants to loosen the beans from their pods.


Once the plants had been sufficiently beaten...he lifted the dried plants to find beans. 
 We stopped to talk to him...I asked if I might take his picture. He agreed,
 and as I did I asked him questions about his life and how he harvested 
and what other things he harvested. He explained that he had made a life
 from what had been left behind. Some of what he had gleaned he would used 
to feed his family, and the rest he would sell. It was a pretty great thing to watch.
 As The Farmer and I drove away I said something like...
these kind of people are becoming scarce. That in another 8-10 years there probably
 wouldn't be anyone left that would be willing to work this hard to make a living.
 The Farmer agreed but also added...that if things really got bad enough in the world...
we would all be willing to beat a few bean plants to have something to eat.
 I think he is probably right.
 For now, it was a lesson to me that if you look really close...
you might just find something of great value...if you are willing to work for it!

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