U-Pick Farms can be set up exactly like row crops or completely different, all depending on how the farmer lays out the land. Some U-pick farms are less than an acre, some are hundreds of acres. The same row crop rules apply to U-Pick farms. The benefits of U-Pick over row crops are:
-Easy to pick crops (i.e. blueberries)
-Picking tools, gloves, and buckets are provided for by the farm
For the best U-Pick experience and more productive gleaners, let the volunteers know they can taste test the crops for quality control, but stress the fact that the produce is for the hungry. Often times, the hungry are the ones doing the picking, so leniency is allowed.
Since 1995, the Society of St. Andrew has operated a statewide, volunteer-driven Gleaning Network in Florida that coordinates with local farmers, thousands of volunteers, and food providing agencies. The Florida Gleaning Network is going strong, providing millions of pounds of fresh produce for the hungry each year. Though an agriculturally diverse state, citrus has been a top yielding produce in Florida; with four citrus drives per year, Florida gleaners save and distribute over a half million pounds of sweet oranges, tangerines, grapefruit and lemons. In addition to citrus, the Florida office salvages everything from onions and white potatoes to strawberries, cabbage, cucumbers, squash, and that ever so famous Zellwood sweet corn.
The Florida office is located in Central Florida (Orlando) and oversees all projects and events for the state. The state office team holds two full-time employees: a Regional Director currently for Florida and Georgia, and a Program Coordinator, along with a Harvest Against Hunger Americorps VISTA. The state is sectioned off into North, South, East, West, Central, and Panhandle. Each area holds a satellite gleaning coordinator position who works part time to carry out gleans in the area.