The other morning I replaced my morning run/meditation with gleaning- going through the harvested corn field to gather any corn left behind. My mental calculations were that I could feed the chickens for a few days, translating into less chicken feed to be purchased. It was an experiment too in response to a flurry of e-mails some months back about creating gleaning crews to gather in "leftover" organic vegetables. I thought I should try gleaning for myself.
I got the farm cart and a few 5 gallon buckets and headed out to the field. Three tractor passes happen with fall harvest:
1. Harvested with combine,
2. Stocks chopped with a chopper
3. A digger turning over the soil
I dragged my cart over the plowed field, into the chopped stock stubble, and over behind the combine (no one was out in the fields yet). I pulled the cart up and down the field-- looking every which way for corn. Let's just say the combine is pretty efficient. Some lessons:
- the edges of the field seem most fruitful
-this is darn hard work -- I only filled two 5 gallon bucket with chopped up corn chunks in about an hour
-I could only find the corn that was right under my feet (my plan to have my eyes sweep a 12 foot swath did not work). I walked up and down that field with my eyes glued to my feet.
All the time I was out there I had a song from Sesame Street playing in my brain.
"While looking at my feet at a crack in the sidewalk and finding a quarter and an old bus token
I nearly missed a rainbow
I nearly missed a sunset
I nearly missed a shooting star going by"