Island Grown Gleaning: Gathering Food for our Community

Gleaning is the act of gathering food that would otherwise not be sold. Farms donate crops because they don’t meet store quality standards, they grow more than they can sell, or they are not able to harvest produce in time. In those cases, Island Grown Gleaning is able to harvest large areas of ripe produce with our team of dedicated volunteers. We spend extra time removing old leaves, checking for spots, and thoughtfully distributing the food we glean. We facilitate food system education by hosting gleaning field trips for students of all ages. IGI also receives fish from the MV Striped Bass & Bluefish Derby and venison from the Venison Donation Program, a collaboration between IGI and the MV Agricultural Society.

IGI shares gleaned food with schools, senior centers, the Island Food Pantry, Serving Hands, the Wampanoag Safe Harbors Program, and IGI's prepared meals program Island Grown To-Go.

Gleaning in 2021

Thanks to generous farmers and volunteers throughout our food system, we gleaned 48,358 lbs of beautiful and nourishing local food in 2021! This amounts to 342,123 servings. Approximately 25,000 lbs of that was grown on Island Grown Initiative’s farm.

Join us!

REGISTER as a new volunteer. If you'd like to be notified when gleans are scheduled, email and ask to be added to our Gleaning-specific email list. If you'd like to learn about volunteer opportunities in other programs, visit Island Grown Initiative's Volunteer page on IGI's main website.

Island Grown Gleaning is shaped by our volunteer gleaners. Many volunteers have been gleaning since the program began over 10 years ago. They return year after year to share with our community and spend time outside with others who are doing the same.

We provide tools, instruction, and an experienced Field Captain. Most gleans last about an hour and a half and we have several gleans each week during summer and fall harvest seasons. Volunteers are welcome to keep a share of the harvest for themselves. New volunteers are always welcome. Glean once a year, or every week!

Gleaning Policies

Children younger than 12 years old require special permission from the Program Manager to attend gleans. Some crops are not suitable for young children to harvest. Please email if you'd like to bring children. Look out for kid friendly gleans announced in our Gleaning emails!

Dogs are never allowed at gleans.

Check your email the night before gleans in case of weather cancellations or other last-minute changes.


Martha's Vineyard Times
Cape & Islands NPR
Oxfam America
Huffington Post


Contact: Astrid Tilton, Program Leader