INFORMATION FOR NEW VOLUNTEERS

Thank you for your interest in volunteering with Boston Area Gleaners! We look forward to meeting you. By volunteering with Boston Area Gleaners, you are agreeing to our Terms of Participation and Volunteer Health and Hygiene Policy.

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Registering to Glean and Basic Info

All volunteers must register as a volunteer in our online system in order to sign up for any open Gleaning Trips listed on our website.

How to Sign Up for Gleaning Trips

Once you are registered as a volunteer in our online system, you will be able to sign up for open Gleaning Trips listed on our website.

Please Cancel If You Cannot Make It!
If your schedule changes and you are unable to make it to a Gleaning Trip for which you have signed up, please cancel so someone else can take your spot. Each Gleaning Trip Confirmation email includes a cancellation link.

How will I know where the Gleaning Trip is?

Our work takes us onto private land, and we take a limited number of people and vehicles onto farm property.

On many trips, Boston Area Gleaners will organize a carpool to and from the farm.
When signing up for a Gleaning Trip, you will have to chose between the available transportation options. If you are able to drive other volunteers in a carpooling situation, please enter the number of seats available in your car. The Gleaning Trip information on the Gleaning Trips page will indicate if:

  1. All volunteers must drive to the farm themselves (we will not be organizing a carpool); OR
  2. Volunteers have the option of either carpooling or getting to the farm themselves; OR
  3. All volunteers must meet the Gleaning Coordinator/Trip Leader at a predetermined carpool location and caravan to the farm (when there is limited parking at the farm and/or difficult-to-find fields).
When you arrive at the meeting spot, Boston Area Gleaners staff will show you where to park. We will provide a brief orientation with helpful tips and information about the property and how to harvest the crop(s).

Please see Other FAQs below for other common Gleaning Trip signup questions.

What to Bring, What to Wear, and Safety Tips for a Gleaning Trip

Gleaning is providing a labor service to farmers so that they are able to donate surplus crops.
YOU WILL BE DOING FARM LABOR, so come prepared by reading the tips below. We glean in all kinds of weather. Wear clothing that is appropriate and comfortable for working outside, bending, lifting and walking.

Volunteers are responsible for managing their own health on Gleaning Trips. If you do have a medical condition that requires attention and could be a safety risk while working in the fields, please have any and all necessary medications on you at all times and notify the Gleaning Coordinator/Staff member present on the trip so that they may assist you in case of emergency.

Other FAQs

What is the minimum age requirement for volunteering?

The minimum age requirement to volunteer with our organization is 13. Gleaners under the age of 18 cannot ride in our organized carpools unless accompanied by a parent/guardian, or they may get their own transport to the Gleaning Trip location. Minors must register as a volunteer and sign up for Gleaning Trips as individual gleaners. The Release and Waiver of Liability, Assumption of Risk, and Indemnity Agreement must be electronically signed by the parent/guardian for each minor volunteer. We generally suggest that younger teens are accompanied by a parent/guardian on a Gleaning Trip. Please contact our Gleaning Program Manager (dylan [@] bostonareagleaners.org) if you have any questions.

Can community/corporate groups set up a volunteer date?

Yes! Please visit our Volunteer Group webpage to learn more about scheduling a Service Workday for your group.

Why am I unable to sign up for an open Gleaning Trip?

If you are still unable to access the roster, please email the webmaster (matt [@] bostonareagleaners.org) and contact the Gleaning Trip Leader.

Has the produce been sprayed with chemicals?

Our Gleaning Trips take place at a wide variety of properties, from large orchards to small urban farming plots. If you have a specific concern about sprayed produce, please email the Gleaning Trip Leader for the specific Gleaning Trip which you would like to attend, and we will do our best to find out all pertinent information from the farmer.

Are volunteers allowed to take home produce from Gleaning Trips?

On some gleaning trips, volunteers may take home limited amounts of surplus or substandard product that BAG could not otherwise distribute. Volunteers must ask the Gleaning Coordinator if they can harvest for personal use on a case-by-case basis. Ultimately, the decision will be made by the farmer and communicated to BAG staff. Volunteers who can afford to purchase produce from the farmer via their farm stand or farmers’ market are encouraged to do so.

Do I have to stay for the entire length of a Gleaning Trip?

Because space is limited on many Gleaning Trips, we ask that you register to glean only when you can arrive on time and stay until the harvest is complete. Most Gleaning Trips involve 2-3 hours of harvesting, not including travel time. There are some trips when you are able to leave early or the harvest is finished earlier than expected. Please let us know if you plan to leave early - this may determine your roster status, depending on the trip.

Why do Gleaning Trips fill so quickly?

Many people have registered to volunteer with Boston Area Gleaners. When a glean is posted, we believe it is most fair to notify all volunteers at the same time. If you are able to sign up for a Gleaning Trip immediately after a notification e-mail, you will have the best chance of getting a spot on the trip's roster.

How are Gleaning Trips planned?

Once a farmer contacts us to let us know of a crop that we can glean, we determine: how much we will be able to glean, how many people we need to successfully complete the harvest, and when we can undertake the harvest (depending on the weather, farmer's schedule, ripeness of the crop, and the schedules of our partner pantries and distribution partners). We then post the trip to our Gleaning Trips webpage and begin to communicate with our partner pantries and distribution partners to set up deliveries.

What should I do if my contact information/address changes?

If you are changing contact information such as your email address, phone number or your address, go to the Volunteer page and click on "Update". If you need to change your name within the system, please email the webmaster (matt [@] bostonareagleaners.org).

If you have other questions, please contact us directly. We are always happy to help!


As a non-profit organization, we are entirely dependent on donations to support our efforts. If you share our mission and would like to help, please visit our Donate page.

For more information about Boston Area Gleaners, please visit our homepage.

To the Harvest!