A while back, we posted information on the Harvest Club, an organization in Huntington Beach that will harvest your unwanted backyard fruit and distribute it to those in need. Now, for those of us in the Long Beach/Lakewood/Los Alamitos area with homegrown produce, herbs, flowers, or baked goods to spare, the Garden Angels Produce Cooperative is standing by, ready to collect and redistribute what might otherwise be wasted.
Here is how it works, in a nutshell (oh, nuts, those would be great to share, too!):
1) The co-op will operate on the first Saturday of each month. Next event will be Saturday, April 2nd. Ahead of time, email Shannon, the coordinator, to let her know what you can offer to the group that month. In March, I had a good amount of lettuce and spinach that was all ready to harvest at the same time, so that is what I contributed. If left in the ground, much of the lettuce would have bolted and the spinach would have gotten tough before we could have eaten it all. Win-win, see?
2) Gather, wash and label your goodies. Bring them to Shannon’s in Long Beach before noon. That is how you giveth. Also, bring a reusable bag marked with you name–this is how you shall receive.
3) Go run some errands, tend to your garden, sip a cup of tea, or whatever it takes to while away some time.
4) Return to Shannon’s by 3:30pm and, lo and behold, you will be given a bag of assorted “extras” from everyone else’s gardens. This month I received oranges, tangerines, grapefruit, avocados, swiss chard, lemons, herbs, and some loofah seeds. Cool, huh?
5) For extra credit, arrange to drop off and pick up for a group of friends, thus cutting down on the amount of driving done by everyone involved.
If this sounds like something that interests you (and, frankly, if free produce doesn’t do it, you might need professional help) please contact Shannon at email@example.com. Last date for inclusion in April’s exchange is March 28.