Gather Baltimore Part 1
Today’s action began around noon when we headed into the heart of Baltimore and met up with a dumpster-diving inspired non-profit called Gather Baltimore. The hours were from 10-2 but when we got there at 12:30 there was almost nothing left to do. Everyone looked at us like a couple of slackers and made some off handed comments about showing up late. None the less we made our introductions and walked out with a huge blue bag of produce and a couple of large melons.
The blue bags are amazing. We have been eating primarily stale bagels from a dumpster for the last 3 days. If you swish with water they soften up a bit and I ate four of them today (before the blue bag entered our lives) The blue bag seems to be their main schtick and this is the deal. Anyone can walk into the mill valley general store on Sisson st in Baltimore and buy a weeks worth of produce in the blue bag for six measly united states dollars. Theyre all the same but the makeup changes week to week. Today it held an outrageous bounty, two heads of kale, two heads of lettuce, a couple pounds of brussel sprouts, green beans, carrots, grapes, tangerines, cucumbers, asparagus and maybe something or other more. Its crazy how affordable this bag is and even crazier it used to be free.
How is this possible? the man behind it, Arthur Morgan, used to work farmers markets and wanted to do something wit hthe massive waste that promptly followed every market. It wasn’t worth it for the farmers to keep it because it wouldnt make it and just get stanky and never sell. So Arthur started organizing, bringing volunteers together and delivering the goods in a beat up pickup truck.
Today things are different, now he has two huge refrigerator trucks (hence the six dollars) and gets his goods directly from wholesalers and warehouses. Just to paint the picture a single company on a big enough scale can spend up to a million dollars a year for waste removal for their excess produce. Arthur slips into that crack, receives ample free goods and turns them to a community in need.
So on top of all that Arthur is a total homie and let us camp out at his place, fed us an amazing dinner, built us a fire, offered us ample beers, and tomorrow we return to learn more and work our asses off like we promised to all the begrudging volunteers who formerly scoffed at our reception of a blue bag ((and melons)mostly the melons)).