Mar
06
    
Arthur Harvey and the Greenleaf Harvesters By Paul Gunter

Arthur Harvey and the Greenleaf Harvesters

By Paul Gunter

Arthur Harvey was the founder of the Greenleaf Harvesters, a guild of blueberry and apple agriculture workers named after the New England Quaker poet abolitionist John Greenleaf Whittier. Read about Whittier’s connection to Hampton Falls, NH at http://www.ritro.com/sections/people/story.bv?storyid=3649 .

Anyways, the guild “twithed” its earnings each season (20%) and pooled the money into a fund. At the end of the year, the workers would consensually agree to donate designated portions of the fund to selected projects brought forward by individual members. I was first introduced to the Harvesters as one of those recipients for The Prisoners Family Center in Concord NH in 1975 when I first met Ron when he first joined the group.  Ron and I both worked with the Harvesters for several years afterwards.   

 Arthur was also, at one point, a mail order dealer of books and pamphlets about and by Mohandas Gandhi and nonviolence.  I heard of Arthur’s Gandhi collection while I was with the Catholic Worker in Michigan in 1970.  Arthur was an ardent organizer and practitioner of federal tax resistance later to be joined by Elizabeth Gravalos.

As you will probably recall, Arthur and other Harvesters organized one of the early marches from Manchester PSCo Headquarters to the Seabrook site in April 1976.  The US Department of Labor would later come after Arthur in 1977 for operating an illegal contract labor organization and demanded his records.  Arthur’s reply was to say that each guild member was an independent contractor and brought his records to the Federal Building in Concord and publicly burned them in the plaza before the proceeding with Judge Hugh Bownes began. I worked with the Harvesters for two more seasons after that event.

Comments Posted:
6 Comments posted on "Arthur Harvey and the Greenleaf Harvesters By Paul Gunter"
margaret bragg on February 25th, 2011 at 8:25 am #

Wouldn’t I love to hear about or from other apple pickers from the 1975 crew at Gould Hill Orchard…


Kate Hak on April 7th, 2011 at 9:04 am #

Margaret, is this Margaret Hennessy?
I was a picker at Gould Hill. If this is you, I was Kathy then. I loved those days, picking away in the Fall, living, eating, working, playing music together. Paul, I remember your name, but not your face! My brother John was also a Green Leaf picker. There is a email connection of Golden Acres in Front Royal Va. Many of the Greenleafers…Lee Blackwell, Susan Toler….to mention a few. Wow, we are coming out of the wood work these days! “Kathy” Kate Hak.
PS: The Catholic Worker! What wonderful memories I have of Dorothy in the bowery!


Stuart Ambler on May 8th, 2011 at 6:58 pm #

I’d like to hear from people too. That was the most satisfying work I ever did, the best job.


Anna Berdick on November 14th, 2011 at 9:20 pm #

Hello to fellow apple pickers,
I was just writing a story about Gould Hill farm last month…I picked one season in Golden Acres too, before I left apple picking to have my son.
I’m living in the bay area and I miss New England apples!
– Anna


Anna Berdick on January 10th, 2012 at 7:16 pm #

I forgot to mention that I was involved in the Peace Walks, organizing for the Clamshell, some last minute training and the occupation at Seabrook…pled guilty and sat in jail, so I missed out on the “armory experience.” I knew Arthur and Elizabeth and many of the Greenleaf Harvesters, as I picked and pruned with a few crews…see some names of people I remember working alongside and in meetings.


Joel on April 26th, 2017 at 12:04 pm #

I worked at Gould Hill in 1973. I remember that Arthur banned the use of any electronic devices, but once a week, he would sneak into the barn with a borrowed TV to watch episodes of “Kung Fu.”


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