Now Daniel Klein and his vegetarian girlfriend and camerawoman, Mirra Fine, have hit the road to take the show national. Each week we check in to hear the latest.
This episode follows Daniel as he gleans fields in Northern California to supply local food pantries with food.
TakePart: It's so great to see excess food go to people who need it. What would happen to it otherwise?
Daniel Klein: The food wouldn't be wasted completely. It would go in the compost pile or to the chickens, both of which enrich the soil and benefit the farm.
TP: Notice any similarities between gleaning and the foraging you've done?
DK: In this case the gleaning was very different from foraging. This was based on a relationship with a farmer and seeing what he had too much of.
In other cases, it is closer to foraging, especially the old style of gleaning where people came after the fields had been harvested and had the opportunity to find the crops that had been left behind.
I suppose it's like foraging in that it's free—you just have to do the leg work to connect with farmers.
TP: What did you like about gleaning?
DK: I think gleaning is a no-brainer example of what should be done at most farms. If there is extra produce, it should be given to those in need.
The unfortunate situation in this story was that many of the folks in need were laborers themselves. It's pretty unjust that the people who grow our food in this country can't afford to buy the food themselves.
TP: Since filming this episode, you've made your way back to Minnesota. How does it feel to be back? What parts of it are you happy to return to?
DK: Well we aren't back for very long. We leave again on Saturday for another 3 months. But it's great to see family and friends. And it's amazing to see all the community gardens. After traveling the country [we've found] Minneapolis really has a phenomenal garden situation; they are everywhere and they are beautiful. It's inspiring.
TP: As always, we'd like to know....what's next on the Perennial Plate?
DK: I think we are going to show a stop we made at a lamb farm. It wasn't on our agenda, but someone suggested that we stop on our way to another spot. We only spent an hour there, but I think it's worth sharing.