EAG Newsletter 5-25-2020


By Sara Ferris




Two Organic Redneck gleans last week brought an assortment of fresh produce to the drop sites. Monday’s crew picked 692.7 pounds of spinach and lettuce in under 90 minutes! 

Despite being rained on, Friday’s crew gathered more than 655 pounds of organic produce—turnips, mustard greens, bok choy, kale, radishes, turnips, and several kinds of lettuce.

Totes needed. Gleaned goods travel from farm to drop site in big plastic totes, and some of the totes are getting brittle with age. If you have big totes that you no longer need, please consider donating them (no lids required). Totes work much better than cardboard boxes because they can be washed and reused (and stacked when not in use). 


Masks. Thanks to Dee Kritch who did double duty gleaning and making more masks for gleaner crews. Catherine Wilkins also made some masks and shares this Facebook video that shows a simple design good for folks who wear glasses or hearing aids:



More on masks. If you have coffee bag ties, leave them in the jar at the Garfield drop (1242 Garfield) for Helen Goché, who uses them for masks.


Sanitizer. Thanks to Swallowtail Spirits for donating a huge batch of hand sanitizer. Glean leaders should arrange pickup through Susan Chapen.


Leaders wanted. If you are at all interested in becoming a glean leader, please contact Susan Chapen at eugeneareagleaners@gmail.com. Training can be done over the phone or via Facebook chat.



In the works: strawberries and honey. Watch your email or the Facebook group for details. 




Drop sites are stocked with plenty of baked goods and gleaned produce. Other donated items occasionally make an appearance, so watch email and Facebook group for notifications. Last week, Springfield had fresh-cut marjoram, oregano, and chives, and cases of Nummy Tum Tum pet supplements (pureed organic fruits and veggies) were available in Eugene.

  • 1242 Garfield St., Eugene
  • 3180 Oriole St., Springfield (Gateway)
  • 2830 Potter St. Eugene (South)



The EAG Board needs a computer-savvy Secretary to schedule meetings, take notes, and maintain the calendar. The Secretary is a Board member, so attends meetings and votes as appropriate. Learn more here. If interested, email Brandy at eugeneareagleaners@gmail.com.



Reminder: Members can check out canning jars for ongoing use and reuse. Text Geri at 920/883-9607 if you need jars or anticipate needing them soon. The library is getting full!


Getting ready. In general, home-canned goods will last for many years when stored in a cool, dry place, though there will be a decline in quality as years go by. 


Even if you are super-organized about tracking your canned goods inventory, occasionally go through your stockpile to check dates and look for problems. Even cans from the store can corrode and burst if left on their own for too long. Checking your inventory right before canning season starts will also remind you what to more of (and what never to do again).


The example shown below is from a jar donation a few years back. As you can see, the peaches in these jars are in varying stages of decomposition.


Clues that a jar has gone bad include: 


  • Bowing on the lids. You can see the far left lid is slightly bubbled on the top.
  • Punctures or corrosion on the lid. The lid on the right has a very small and not easily visible puncture.


The food in the middle jar is spoiled, but the lid doesn’t show obvious signs of corrosion. It is possible that a part of the lid didn’t seal all the way (defective) or that a particle of food got between the lid and the jar and compromised the seal.


Even when the lid looks good, listen for the happy pop of a good seal when you open a jar. If air rushes out or the contents spurt when the jar is opened, the contents are likely spoiled. An off odor and any changes to texture or color are also signs of spoilage. 


The shelf-life of canned food varies widely depending on the acid content and method of canning. Please consult our local extension service for more information on specific food guidelines: https://extension.oregonstate.edu/food/preservation




Getting fancy. The extension service now offers a free canning app. You tell it what and how you want to can, and it gives you a checklist and timer for processing.


Android: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=edu.oregonstate.canning

Apple: https://apps.apple.com/us/app/canning-timer-checklist/id1204971136