Member of the Month

January 2024: Jessica Ferguson

Eugene Area Gleaners - Member of the Month - January 2024 - Jessica Ferguson


Full name: Jessica Ferguson

Pronouns: she/her

Biography: I’ve lived in Eugene most of my life. I live with my husband of almost 20 years, our two elementary-aged kids, and two doggos. I enjoy my job at the local high school as an educational assistant. My specialties include mental health awareness, literature, infant/child development, cakes/cookies, and a myriad other things that I’ve hyper-fixated on in my history.

Q: If you were a fruit or vegetable, which would you be and why? 

A: If I were a fruit or vegetable, I would be garlic. Is that a vegetable? It is now. I’m garlic because you can put me in pretty much any dish and I can rock that job. I think. There are many parts of me that come together and make the whole. I like to be stored in a dark cool place, though. I’m a home-body, for sure. 

Q: Do you have a favorite food recipe to share with the EAG community?

A: Need something to do with all those peaches? I make a nice peach jam and then use it for these cookies! They’re seriously wonderfully delicious:


Q: When did you join Eugene Area Gleaners (EAG)?

A: I joined a really long time ago? Like…. basically at the start. I’d have to ask Brandy to confirm, though. (Brandy confirmed it was indeed a long time ago… June 2014 to be exact!)

Q: What inspired you to join EAG? 

A: I joined the EAG because I love the thought of reducing waste. Humanity creates so much more than it consumes and if we can do even a little bit of something to help reduce that impact, then I’m on board.

Q: What volunteer role(s) have you held with EAG?

A: I go on gleans primarily in the summer. I’m also the cider press librarian!

Q: Why do you love volunteering with EAG? 

A: One of my favorite things is families or groups coming over and pressing apples together. It’s lovely to see how excited they are for their juice and making plans on what they’re going to do with their spoils.

Q: Do you have a favorite gleaning experience, cherished memory, or fun moment?

A: I remember gleaning a farm one year and not realizing I went home with 75lbs of spinach. As a leafy vegetable, 75lbs is a lot. And my family doesn’t really eat cooked spinach. After some stewing, I found an awesome recipe for spinach pesto. Turns out that epic portion was exactly what we needed and we had pesto packed in the freezer for months!

Q: What are your words or wisdom or tips on how to be a successful gleaner and EAG volunteer?

A: I don’t have much time to go to farms. But that’s ok because I’ve found other ways to volunteer and feel like I’m an asset to the group. So my words of wisdom are that one person doesn’t have to do all the things. As long as each person is doing *a* thing, we can be successful and productive.