Where are the Gleaners?

Tomatoes in Meigs County OH 08-31-2014When I spotted a field with a bunch of small, round, orange objects in it along the Ohio River Scenic Byway near Letart Falls, I turned to Curator Jessica and asked what she thought they were. “They’re not big enough for pumpkins,” I observed.

The question was answered about a quarter-mile down the road when we came upon field after field of tomatoes whose vines were turning brown. Wife Lila is proud (rightfully so) of the tomato plants in her backyard garden, but here were miles of them rotting on the vine.

“Pinhookers” clean fields in Florida

I’ve seen “pinhookers” around Immokalee pay farmers a small amount of money in order to harvest the leftovers in a field, so I wondered why nobody appeared to be doing that around there.

What were those people called in the Bible who did that? I asked Miz Jessica, who had been to church before our jaunt and should be up on that kind of thing.

“Gleaners. It comes from the Book of Ruth and the story of Ruth and Boaz,” she said without hesitation.

I wish I had been going straight back to Florida. I’d have brought Wife Lila enough tomatoes to keep her canning for weeks.