Farmers’ Motivations

Participants recognized that farmers are different in every area. Gleaning programs in the Portland area, for example, consolidate efforts by focusing on six large orchards and public trees. Most orchardists in this area request help because of fruit damage. Their “Tree Care Team” has safety training and liability insurance, which is particularly important where pesticide management is concerned. Orchardists will also call if the processor contract is reached. If so, the organization will pick up the excess. This organization also provides educational perks such as free classes and information packets to registered farmers and fruit tree owners.

Small-scale growers, under 10 acres, seem to be very engaged as witnessed in Tacoma, WA and other areas. Salem Harvest has noticed farmers request their help when produce is damaged or too expensive to harvest. Farmers also appreciate help harvesting pest-infecting produce to prevent tilling under and disease the following year. Kids can be involved too - the future scouts of tree pruning and preventative pest infestation! The final motivation participants foresaw was a system for compensating farms. Is it possible to run a successful model where farmers are reimbursed for donating?