Local News

Jul 19, 2014 11:22 PM by Olivia DeGennaro, KSBY News

Glean SLO helps salvage crops that would otherwise go to waste due to drought

The extreme drought in California is causing many people to make adjustments.

People came together on Saturday morning to pick produce that would otherwise go to waste.

Glean SLO Harvest picks up extra produce or fruit and brings it to the local food bank. However, program coordinator Jen Miller said the drought has impacted them significantly, and it's getting harder to access that fruit.

Avocado grower Rick Sauerwein says he started running out of water last June and made the hard decision to stop watering.

"You can see that we've already started the process of pruning the trees back," Sauerwein said, "hopefully will allow the trees to continue with very little water for about a year. If we don't get water in that year or two, then they're going to die."

"There's still viable fruit on those branches, and you see 40 wonderful people out there that have donated their Saturday to come out here and recover that fruit for the Food Bank."

"We're glad to come out here and make sure that at least a portion of his produce gets to people that need it," Miller said.

Sauerwein said he's still an optimist and hopes things will turn around. If there is good rainfall in the next year, he can expect a new crop of avocados in three to four years.

Since his family took over the avocado grove, it has seen two floods, two droughts, deep freezes, and an extreme heat that destroyed a whole year of new fruit.

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