PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — Six hundred cases of broccoli — roughly 1,200 pounds — were donated by Smith’s Farm of Presque Isle to Maine Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster after roughly 20 students from the Loring Job Corps Center volunteered their time to pick produce.
This was the third year that Smith’s has held the annual Broccoli Glean, during which the farm’s excess broccoli is picked and donated to food pantries or other organizations in the state.
Members of Maine VOAD compose a coalition of nonprofit organizations that respond to disasters as part of their overall mission, according to its website.
The students in the volunteer work force spent about five hours in the fields on Sept. 16 snapping broccoli off the stems and placing the produce in boxes.
“I knew it would be fun, and I liked spending time outside volunteering with my friends and helping out the community,” said LJCC student Nicholas Proulx, 19.
This was the first time many of the students had participated in a harvest, and it was hands-down the freshest broccoli the students had ever tasted.
“I’d never had broccoli that fresh,” Proulx said. “It was very good.”
After spending half a day snapping broccoli off the stems and into the boxes, the students slept well that night.