What is Gleaning?

Gleaning by definition means collecting the leftovers after a harvest (Leviticus 19:9-10).  In FOOD Share terms, we are finding and picking food whether a harvest has happened or not. Chances are we’ve been to your neighborhood, as we have picked in every community in Ventura County. Learn how you can be a part of our mission below.

Produce Donors

A Branch Feeds a Family, A Tree Feeds a Neighborhood.

Ventura County is home to just under 1 Million people that means that there are over 233,000 backyard, front yards, side yards, orchards, hillsides, fields and plains that have food growing on them that can be harvested. Having only been to about 500 unique sites and have scheduled almost 1,000 picks we still see plenty of pastures and backyards that need harvesting in Ventura County. That being said we’ve collectively harvested over 1/2 Million Pounds of produce from Backyards and Farms in the last three years with the Gleaning Program. However we need your help if we are going to try and harvest all of the unwanted or unneeded crops in Ventura County.

Gleaning Volunteers

Volunteer with FOOD Share

Before you come out and volunteer we will need to you contact our Volunteer department and fill out three forms (Volunteer Application, Volunteer Pledge & Volunteer Waiver). Our volunteers coordinator will be happy to connect the work we do out in the field with the work we do back in our warehouse during your tour when you are ready to start volunteering.

Please contact our Volunteer Coordinator, Christina Forino at:
(805)983-7100 x104



Call (805) 983-7100 to schedule a pick but having the information ahead of time leads to more time being spent in the field, scouting and picking. Please prepare to be patient during peak events (Seasons, Weather Events and Community Events). Neighbors calling together for their crops are encourage because it means we can have a bigger group out at the harvest. Ensuring a speedy pick may mean calling in advance of a tree being ripe.

Will you pick up what I have harvested?

YES!  It is advised that you call (805) 822-8005 (9AM – 3PM Tuesday – Friday) before to see the availability of same day pick up so fruit is not to go to waste.

Will you come pick up my crop?

Yes, however, availability, time restrictions, and volunteer feedback preference will be given to crops with a Low Shelf Life (tomatoes and leafy greens), Elderly Owned Backyards Crops (or people without the ability to pick themselves), and any Overly Large Crops (orchard and farms). We try to remain flexible but when we don’t have the workforce we focus on what we can actually accomplish to the best of our abilities. It’s advised but not mandatory to call about gleaning 2 or more full trees.


Scouting the property leads to a more efficient harvest and helps us identify and connect with not only the donor but also the property. During this time we will schedule the pick date, talk about what we might not be able to pick and what you don’t want us too.

Do you have insurance and do you have tools?

Yes and Yes.  Please allow additional time prior to expected pick date if you would like a certificate of insurance and let us know as soon as possible. We insist to only have our volunteers use our equipment and to pick only what they themselves feel comfortable picking.


Once you’ve contacted and let us scout we are ready to pick. Typically we will be at your house at 8:30 AM and weekend picks on demand. If you have a large pick we will be using a meeting site before arriving at your property. Backyard picks will last no more than an hour.

Who is coming to my house?

Volunteers come in all shapes and sizes, but for the most part weekdays are a retired persons looking to give back and weekends are spent with volunteer groups and families.  Occasionally we will have schools students and court ordered hours for those looking to pay off tickets for speeding or moving violations. Calling in advance of the fruit being ripe allows us to schedule things out in such a way where we can tell you exactly who will be picking in your backyard.

Upcoming Picks

If nothing is listed below you can always call the Gleaning Hotline for picks at (805) 983-7100

Meeting Sites:

ZIP / Address:

Crop Registry

Crop Registry

* = Required

First Name*
Last Name*
Street Address*
Zip Code*
Your Email*
Home Phone*
Cell Phone*
Type of Crop*
Height of Crop*
Quantity of Crop*
Crop Owner*
Pick Guidelines Agreement

Prior to the Pick
  1. Please clearly mark (Tape, Ribbons, Etc.) the crops that you would not like the gleaners to pick. This is the standard operating procedure for the gleaners and they know to stay away from those crops.
  2. Please remove any Furniture, Decorations, Equipment and Vehicles from around the crop that the gleaners may safely pick the produce without harm to your property nor themselves.
  3. Please ensure that if you are not going to be home on the day of the pick that you have given permission to enter your property in writing to the Gleaning Coordinator. If applicable, alert the front gate or give the Gleaning Coordinator the Gate Code in advance to ensure a speedy pick.
  4. Please move animals away from the pick site into a separate area. We want to not only prevent injuries but we also would dislike to let your pet out. Please also remove animal waste from around the crop (If it’s ground crop this may be reason to cancel the pick).
  5. Please place a yard waste trash can towards the crop so that the gleaners may discard rotting produce and leaves. This is especially important with Citrus Trees where we need to leave the leaves at the property they came from.
During the Pick
  1. Please trust the gleaners intuition. Our gleaners are only volunteers so they will only be able to pick the produce to the best of their abilities. They are taught how to pick the tree prior to their first pick and they are also taught that if they would eat then you should pick it. Please allow them to adhere to this and not pick undeveloped, rotting fruit, overripe and underripe produce.
  2. Please help us reduce liability. The gleaners should only be using FOOD Share’s equipment, to adhere to our insurance, please do not ask the gleaners to use equipment that is not FOOD Share’s or walk on roof or a fence.
  3. Please help us be mindful of our county’s most precious resource. If the Gleaners discover any insect that might be a part of a quarantine they will immediately stop picking and return all produce to the yard. We will have the tree examined before we continue.
  4. Please help us protect the health of our gleaners. Please allow them to leave the pick for things like Hot Weather, Rain or Illness. We’ve recommended they don’t use ladders in the rain (Even in a Mist) and temperatures over 85 ℉ we recommend they spend as little time doing hard labor.
Property Entry Agreement

I, the Property Owner,

Allow all representatives of FOOD Share of Ventura County’s Gleaning Department to enter my property for purposes of picking excess produce of my choosing. I, promise to properly mark crops that I would not like the Gleaners to pick. Ensure that they are safe to my knowledge. I also promise to alert neighbors and interested parties that there will be people in my backyard so as not to raise any alarm. I also promise to make sure all pets are locked away so the gleaners don’t have to worry about pets getting out or causing injury.