By: Olivia Stultz & Paxton Evans
Haley Becker is a University of Florida senior majoring in sustainability studies and minoring in organic and sustainable crop production. In order to gain hands-on experience in the field and knowledge about sustainable agriculture, she works at Field & Fork as a gleaning intern at the student gardens.
Haley’s plant science background extends from her interest in agriculture, cultivated through her sustainability classes. She originally found out about the Field & Fork internship program while looking for a sustainability-related internship. She always knew volunteers helped run the gardens but wasn’t aware of the internships Field & Fork offered until she saw them posted online.
The specific project she is working on to create a community-wide gleaning program. Gleaning is the process by which the edible left-overs of an initial harvest are collected. It has been used for thousands of years, primarily as a way to feed the poor or stay frugal. Today, gleaning isn’t used as much as it is costly to rehire labor for a second harvest and consumers may not be used to the by-products (such as broccoli leaves). Gleaning has quite the impact on Florida agriculture. Even though it is costly, it prevents edible food from going to waste, which can then be used to feed consumers who are willing to try something new and help support food banks.
Olivia Stultz, Paxton Evans