This article first appeared in The Independent Newspaper
In March Share the Harvest Farm hosted its fundraiser music event on the greenest day of the year, St. Patrick’s Day. The benefit, held from 7 to 9 PM at The Stephen Talkhouse in Amagansett, raised monies to feed local families in need.
The East Hampton-based organization prides itself on growing high-quality produce, through sustainable farming practices, and donating it to local food pantries. Its mission is also to increase the availability of healthy products and raise awareness about food insecurity on the East End.
Concertgoers heard live performances by Fred Raimondo, Inda Eaton, Nancy Remkus, Sarah Greene, Cynthia Daniels, Job Potter, and Rorie Kelly. It is Share the Harvest Farm’s first spring fundraiser.
“Springtime is the most crucial time for our farm to fundraise, as this is the time of the year that we are beginning to sow our seeds and plant our dreams, none of which would be possible without the financial help of our wonderful community,” said Melissa Mapes, Share the Harvest’s director of community outreach and education. The organization has 15 to 20 year-round volunteers, welcoming more during donation days.
This is the time of year when seeding preparation begins for the summer growing season. Share the Harvest Farm plants crops based on the needs of local organizations which lean towards a vegetarian diet. Crops range from asparagus to zucchini and every veggie in between.
Board member Maxwell Plesset coordinated the event, but an overall team effort is working to make it a success, Mapes noted.
“Supporting your local farms is crucial for any community, as it helps to build up local economy and decrease the amount of carbon emissions by avoiding the long transit of grocery store items,” she said.
“Eating local is so much more experiential as you sit and chat with the farmers about what they grow. Honestly, the food tastes way better when it is harvested the same day from the same sliver of earth you walk on every day. We are so grateful to have that experience ourselves and find that it is very important for us to share that with all members of our community. Access to local healthy foods should be a right to all, not a privilege only for a select few,” Maples expressed.
In a single week, the farm donates to approximately 450 families through more than 10 different organizations. It’s become increasingly apparent that as the cost of living continues to rise, so does the number of persons afflicted by food insecurity, specifically lack of affordable nutrition.
The event perfectly coincided with March being National Nutrition Month.
Volunteers can sign up to hand pick vegetables for the farm-to-community website, or make donations to purchase seeds on its website. Follow the farm on social media @sharetheharvestfarm.
Be on the lookout for the organization’s annual summer BBQ fundraiser during the first week of August.