Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The Harvest Followers

Today, we are offering our readers something of more general value, that of bravery in the face of poverty.

Gleaning is something we humans have been in the habit of doing since agriculture was developed. What touches me most is how it was adopted by the poor as a means for survival. In most farming communities, this was a gift, in a way. One might also say it was banned or outlawed only in places where big business and/or political interests took over, but mostly it just fell out of favor with the well monied. Most people are unaware of its still being one way for the working poor to augment their lifestyles with more choices for better nutrition. 

This might include fruits in season that have already fallen and/or been left to rot, or grain which harvesting machines couldn't gather.
Anybody caught gleaning here in the U.S. might be charged with trespassing, or worse. Yet, there are still little pockets of gleaners scattered across our globe, and it's fascinating to think how some people literally used to survive for most of the year on any gleaned shocks of wheat, etc., they could gather for their families.

According to a film entitled "The Gleaners and I," this practice is still very much alive, and in some places actively pursued.
It is a back-breaking way to go in some cases, requiring patience and determination. It is so old a practice, it is even mentioned in ancient texts such as the Bible's Old Testament. We include a Gustave Doré illustration as our very last offering, featuring just such a scene.

We've also added a way for any children interested to learn about it using 2 new ColorMe™ Pages. We hope you may also view at least one of the YouTube clips we're featuring here for you. In the first one is a short, but clear description of the gleaning process using Millet's famed painting, along with its meaning in a larger context. It's much more to the point than might be expected, so we urge our readers to give it a play.

For more examples of the art of Millet, along with his Bio (or life and times information), you may follow this link:

Many other works by artists may be found at the same site,

Our second (offered here via link to YouTube) may be somewhat off-putting for our readers without French language skills or a desire to read subtitles when viewing it, but its visual context is not to be missed. I'd highly recommend you find a DVD copy of "The Gleaners and I" either through your local public library system (try interlibrary loan), or any video outlet such as Netflix. I found the film's content moving beyond words. It is so deeply thoughtful, our readers may wish to preview it before deciding to share it with their children.
Our third clip was added as an afterthought, but it might shed more light on the focus here, and is also short, sweet,  & to the point.

A sincere Thank You to anybody taking the time to view any one, if not all, of these clips. We appreciate the time taken.
We also offer the following two links for more on French artists Doré and Millet.
{Personal Note: I find it of interest how even Millet's name is the same as for the grain, millet. A revival in the use of this hearty grain due to a growing health concern over gluten intolerance makes this all the more interesting for yours truly, who went off gluten earlier this year.}
We hope all our readers will remember to allow others to eat better during the coming fall and winter months by sharing their good fortune with those less fortunate, particularly those on our own shores.
And I would urge those interested in doing so to consider how there may be many among our nation's poor who also most certainly will have more than one health issue, such as my own, so to think of offering gluten free or dairy free items might be an added kindness not soon forgotten. Such thoughtfulness could even save someone's life.
Thank You.
Enjoy your Harvest season, and--
Happy Creativity!

For the trailer to the actual documentary mentioned above,
please follow this link.

Below is something a little different, but it's brief and to the point,
and says much about world hunger.

"After the Harvest" Collage Sets + 2 PPSColorMe™ Pages
and Doré's Bible illustration, "The Gleaners"

"After the Harvest" 1

Download HERE

"After the Harvest" 2

Download HERE

"After the Harvest" 3

Download HERE

PPSColorMe™ Page: Young Woman Gleaning

Download HERE

PPSColorMe™Page: Millet's Gleaners

Download HERE

Illustration: Gustave Doré's "The Gleaners"

Download HERE

All images in this posted collection from Wikimedia Commons.
Though some had to be enlarged, we have done this using our
Photoshop setup, pasting them onto 300dpi backgrounds.
Hopefully, any resolution issues will have been at least made a bit better.
We also did a little clean-up work on them for you.
Please let us know if you experience a problem.
Thank You.

You are free to:
use any one of these images in artwork for sale or personal use.
You are not free to:
repackage them, as they are, for sale.
Thank you for respecting our gift to the public.


SusieJ said...

Thank you so much for this - a fascinating subject. I remember my mother (a child of the 30's here in the UK) talking about "brambling" when they'd scour the hedgerows in autumn for blackberries and other edible fruits to turn into jam and puddings.
Hugs xx

Plush Possum Studio said...

Susie J: Thank you for joining us here. And thank you for sharing your family's story of their own form of gleaning with us. I've never heard the term, "brambling" before. What extraordinary pluck your mother's generation must have had! And how interesting, their wise use of time in the search for healthy fruits for home use. And how admirable, to try for one's family in the face of such difficulty, never giving up! It's stories like your family's that make this blog hostess's job really worthwhile.

Ann said...

these are marvelous!!
thanks so very much!!

Plush Possum Studio said...

Ann: You are, as always, most welcome, my friend.
Thank ou for coming by!

Talking Horses Arts said...

Hi there possum. Sorry i missed some of your posts, somehow blogger does not all send them to me in my follow page. Its been acting weird lately.
Think its fixed now and catching up here. As always your the best!!!

Dezinaworld said...

Absolutely brilliant post, I am definitely coming back later (got the radio on right now and hubby is also listening to it ) I shall check out the you tube video's this is really interesting stuff
thanks so much my friend
hugs June x

artistamyjo said...

Did I miss this? Must be my eyes!
Thank you,beautiful and interesting.

Something Special said...

I thank you for this fabulous post about gleaning. I love the painting. I wonder if we will have to go back to this practice again someday. we are so very fortunate that we do not depend on such means for everyday survival.

Plush Possum Studio said...

Talking Horses:Sorry to hear about Blogger's mistakes making it harder for you to hear about others' latest offerings. You should see the weird antics we sometimes have gone through just in order t log in! They really haven't been up to their best levels of competence this year thus far, have they? Hope this is improving for you and anybody else experiencing such a phenomenon!
I know of one blogger we Follow whose blog changes weekly, only it doesn't tell us so--and this hadn't happened before Blogger made its great big shift into what we are told is a "better" state of affairs. I'm trying not to judge Google for this, btw, but it hasn't been easy not to.
Good luck to you, my dear!
All my best

Plush Possum Studio said...

June: So glad you enjoy our post! It's a favorite of yours truly, for I love the whole subject, including each painting we've added to the sets.
In fact, I am in love with the entire concept, and with its reasoning. Here in the states, we have at least one senior organization which gleans for charitable purposes. Isn't that a lovely way to go?
And please do check out the film, "The Gleaners and I." it's lovely too!
Thanks so much for taking the time to give our blog a look! You're a dear!

Plush Possum Studio said...

Amy: How are those eyes doing today? I thought about you and said a prayer for the healing.
Hope all's truly well before you can blink that eye again!

Plush Possum Studio said...

Something Special: I know what you mean. In some places in the world, it is the main means for clusters of impoverished family groups to keep their families going. And we are entirely too certain our mass good fortune here in the states can keep us afloat without a hiccup. It is worth praying for, our peace of mind, much as we pray for those less fortunate during our country's hardest months. Guess I'm making that a daily practice starting today, right now.

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