Gleaning Stories, Gleaning Change

The Gleaning Stories Project

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Project Goals

We will collect the personal stories of the gleaners.

We will attend organized gleaning sessions and meet the gleaners. We will follow the gleaners and the food they harvest from the fields through the cleaning and bundling processes to the distribution of the food to the hungry. We will collect as diverse a selection of their stories as we can. We want to know their backgrounds; how and why they became gleaners; whether gleaning has changed their relationship to food, agriculture, and the hungry; and what gleaning means to them.

Story Formats

Archiving stories: There are several hundred gleaners participating in organized gleaning programs in the Salinas Valley. While we will talk to many of them, we will collect extended stories from 12 to 15 of the gleaners whose stories highlight different motivations, different backgrounds, and different parts of our community.

Website stories: In addition to archiving these extended stories, we will present excerpts (in text and audio), along with photos, on our website. Our website will also provide links to relevant sites and explore the broader contexts and meanings of gleaning for interested visitors.

Radio stories: We will produce a half-hour (28 minute 30 second) feature for airing on public radio. This radio feature will set the personal stories of the gleaners in the important contexts (gleaning, hunger, sustainability, agriculture, land use, e.g.) to tell the story of gleaning and the gleaners in our community. Elements of our feature will include narration; the stories of the gleaners told using portions of our interview with them; interviews with growers, field managers, and food bank personnel; and interviews with scholars, including our humanities experts and PI. We will also use ambient sound and music to provide an audio setting for our stories and to help provide transitions and segues in the flow of our feature. Our technical team members have extensive experience writing and producing documentary radio features. Three of our team members have experience with radio narration.

We will also excerpt from our half-hour feature to create shorter stories that we can offer to such public radio programs as California Reports. We have working relationships with local NPR stations KUSP-FM and KAZU-FM, as well as with the UCSC campus radio station KZSC-FM.

Languages: The Gleaners of Salinas Valley project will collect and archive stories in both Spanish and English, but our initial produced stories will be for English-language media.

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Partially Funded by the California Council for the Humanities, UC Santa Cruz, and INTA - TrainingWeal.

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