Learning on the Job

Interns for January SproutDo you know of a college student that has a passion for farming, hunger relief, non-profit work or any facet of the work that we are involved in?  Send them our way as we are already recruiting for our 2018 Summer Intern Program.  This team of students will be engaged in all facets of our work and get the opportunity to learn all about what it takes to run our dynamic volunteer farming organization.  They will have the opportunity to visit partner organizations, participate in nutritional workshops and hone their communication and leadership skills all while spending the majority of their summer outdoors on our beautiful farm properties.  

Here’s just some of what former interns say about their experience in the Community Harvest Project Summer Intern Program:

Having an internship at CHP helped me understand and appreciate all the effort that goes into a nonprofit. Staff and volunteers are the real backbone of the organization, doing incredible, selfless work. It’s made me very interested in working in the nonprofit sector, and I want to continue to build on the groundwork that CHP has laid for me.

I enjoyed working with a group of interns who study different things, come from different backgrounds, and have different goals. It was cool to see one organization pull together individuals who will have different take-aways from the same internship.

Every single day at Community Harvest Project I learned something new. The volunteers and staff foster a spirit of kindness and enthusiasm that makes every task on the farm – from washing gloves, to hanging blueberry netting, to leading a group of volunteers in the field – feel like an exciting new adventure. I love how the farm serves the community dually by providing food to people who are experiencing hunger and by giving volunteers the opportunity to spend time outside in an environment that makes farming extremely accessible to a wide range of people. Community Harvest Project is a loving place that makes everybody feel welcome, valued, and eager to come back!


For more information find our 2018 Summer Intern Job Description here.  

Read the rest of the January Sprout!

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Leading a Legacy of Service

TeamLeader.BobD.7.16.2015.JPGThe legacy of service that Bill and Rose Abbot set in place in the 1970’s in Hopkinton is alive and well at our farms in North Grafton and Harvard.  It is in that spirit that our Volunteer Team Leaders continue to serve and lead our volunteer groups in activities at our farms.  We could not do the work that we do to support the hunger relief network without the commitment and dedication of this mighty force.  Last year 58 of our best volunteers served in the role of Team Leader allowing us to continue an exceptional experience for all at our farms.  We stand in awe of this group and all that they do in order to support our mission.  

We attract a diverse group of Team Leaders ranging from high school students to retirees and are always happy to have new volunteers join this group.  Some stay with us for a couple of seasons while others are here for the long run.  We have three Team Leaders that have stuck with us and are now counting their years of service in the teens.  Bob Dascanio originally got involved in 2002 when St. Mary’s Ministry was responsible for supervising at the farm on every third Saturday.  With 15 years of service under his belt he is always waiting for the spring thaw to get back out to the farm.  He even can be counted on to volunteer for special events and makes it a family affair with his wife Jo by his side.  Bob’s favorite memory is the time he worked with the freshman class from St. John’s High when they set the farm record for the most pounds of produce harvested in one day.  He says that he keeps coming back because the organization is superb and focused on the mission and enjoys working with the teams of children and adults. Even when he is not on the farm Bob is a big supporter by introducing other people to the farm and connecting us with supporters.  

Speaking of family affair, Laura and Jim Coughlin are right behind Bob with 14 years of service at CHP.  They landed here after meeting our former Executive Director Amy Navin, her energy about our work got them interested and they started volunteering  They feel that by providing nutritious foods to people with food access issues, we are helping to improve our nation’s health in current and next generations.  They continue to volunteer at CHP because they believe that obesity is one of our nation’s biggest healthcare issues and it has a direct correlation to our diet.  Their favorite memory from the farm is working with their own children at the farm and teaching them to pay it forward.  They also use this thought process to help us advance our mission and are strong supporters of our work.  

We are grateful to have Team Leaders like Bob, Laura and Jim in our midst and would like to thank them for their combined 43 years of service.  Our team is stronger because of them and we appreciate all that they do to support the cause.  

Read the rest of the January Sprout!

Thank You 2017 Corporate and Foundation Grantmakers!

Produce VarietiesEach year Community Harvest Project relies on generous donations from community grantors to keep our programs running. Last year was no exception and in 2017 our grants supported a large range of CHP’s work, from operating support to specific equipment or programs.

Many exciting projects were made possible by these corporate and foundation grants, such as outfitting our new greenhouse with electricity, heat and watering automation. These funds also supported necessary investments in equipment such as repairing our rototiller, purchasing a chisel plow and cultivation tractors. We were also able to plant an experimental crop garden to pilot increasing the varieties we donation.

Thank you to our generous grantors, listed below, who ensure that CHP can continue fulfilling our mission. In 2017, your grant support helped enable CHP to donate 1,130,496 servings of fresh fruits and vegetables through 15 local community partners serving 90,000 individuals and families. 8,456 community volunteers of all ages helped us get the work done.

The 200 Foundation
Avidia Bank
Bank of America Foundation
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts
Clif Bar Family Foundation
Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine At Tufts University
Dell Direct Giving Campaign
Doe Family Foundation
Eastern Bank Charitable Foundation
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
Fallon Health
Foundation for MetroWest
The Francis A & Jacquelyn H. Harrington Foundation
Fred Harris Daniels Foundation
French Family Foundation
George F. and Sybil H. Fuller Foundation
George I. Alden Trust
Greater Worcester Community Foundation
Hanover Insurance Group Foundation
Harvard Pilgrim Health Care
Hoche-Scofield Foundation
MathWorks
The Mildred H. McEvoy Foundation
The Milford National Charitable Foundation Inc.
Nativity School of Worcester
Nypro – A Jabil Company
People’s United Community Foundation
Price Chopper
Project Bread
Reliant Medical Group Foundation Inc.
Ruth H. and Warren A. Ellsworth Foundation
Schwartz Charitable Foundation
Stonewall Fund
Target
The TJX Foundation, Inc.
Tufts University
Unum
Webster Five Foundation
Worcester County Food Bank
Worcester Garden Club

Orchard Assistant Position Available

Community Harvest Project is a 501(c)3 nonprofit farm with locations in North Grafton and Harvard, Mass. Our mission is to build healthy communities through volunteer farming and nutrition education. Each year our sites host over 8,000 volunteers who work together to grow and donate an average of 270,000 pounds of produce each year to local hunger relief agencies such as the Worcester County Food Bank, Community Servings, and more.

We are currently seeking an Orchard Assistant to work under the direction of our Orchard Manager at our Harvard site, the Prospect Hill Orchard. This 75-acre property includes approximately 30 acres of apples, an acre of peaches, an acre of asparagus, and a small hops yard. The vast majority of our apples are grown for donation and harvest from late August to late October, with a small portion sold to select wholesale partners.

The right candidate will have experience in orchard and/or other agricultural work, will be self-motivated, have a friendly personality, and enjoy working with individuals of all ages and abilities. See below for more information.

Interested applicants should email a cover letter, resume, and 2-3 references to Orchard Manager Susan Conant at susan@community-harvest.org.

Job Description

The Orchard Assistant is responsible for assisting the Orchard Manager by executing all agriculture operations at the Prospect Hill Orchard site and by creating a positive volunteer experience for all visitors.

This is a year-round, blended position with the following hours:

  • 40 hours per week September to April
  • 20 hours per week May to August

Duties and responsibilities

  • Assist in all orchard operations:
    • Execute daily agricultural duties
      • Weeding
      • Mowing
      • High-density maintenance
      • Equipment maintenance
    • Execute harvest duties
      • Picking
      • Processing and packing
      • Delivery
      • Assist with distribution partners
    • Execute skilled/restricted farm activities after necessary training
      • Spraying
      • Pruning
  • Assist in all volunteer operations:
    • Work with Team Leaders to plan volunteer sessions
    • Oversee and work with volunteer groups
    • Provide a positive volunteer experience

Benefits

  • Compensation: $14 per hour
  • Time Off: 15 days of paid time off / 5 days of paid sick time / paid holidays from September 1 to April 30
  • Employer-sponsored health insurance with 50% of coverage paid by CHP
  • Employer-sponsored 401k plan (no match)

Qualifications

  • 2 years of agricultural experience, preferably in an orchard setting
  • 1 year of tractor experience
  • Knowledge of IPM and a Pesticide Applicator License a plus
    • If you do not have a PAL, training will be provided
  • Ability to lift 50 pounds
  • Ability to work in all types of weather including rain and snow
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Positive, self-starting attitude

 

 

 

2018 Monthly Giving Program

Even a little means a lot.  Becoming a Monthly Giver by registering online for automatic, monthly donations, is a great way to provide support for the programs and experiences that make Community Harvest Project great, starting with a gift as low as $10.

Join the increasing number of volunteers and community members who have chosen to become sustainers.  Show your support and make your monthly gift today to support the farms all year long.

Monthly donations financially prepare the farms for unforeseen circumstances that arise on our farms.  Peach, one of our beloved Volunteer Team Leaders and a Monthly Giver, experiences the inconsistency of working with weather and knows her monthly donations are valued throughout the year. Peach perfectly captures why monthly donations make a difference:

“Giving a little bit every month is easy and convenient for me. Just as our neighbors rely
on donations of fresh fruits and vegetables, CHP counts on my donations to help the
farm through lean months and periods of severe weather. Even a little means a lot.”

As a thank you for your support, we are delighted to offer the following benefits for the first time:

  • An invitation to a “Special Spring Celebration”
  • A private “Pick-Your-Own Apples Day” at our apple orchard in 2018
  • Two complimentary tickets to our Harvest Home Festival
  • Recognition in newsletter, social media and Annual Report
  • Hassle-free donations and convenient year-end tax receipt
  • Above all, your donations are helping us bring in a great harvest to feed our neighbors and communities

Become a Monthly Giver today; register online or call our Development Office at 774-545-4905 and speak to a member of the Development Team. Thank you for your support!

Read the rest of the January Sprout!

Winter 2018 Cooking Classes

rsz_dsc_0009Playing outside in the snow is great fun, but we can only spend so much time out in the cold before coming in to warm up. That makes winter a great time to work on our indoor skills like cooking! We have a great variety of cooking classes coming up for 5-12 year olds.

1/23/2018 Morning Rocket Fuel – Broccoli Head Chefs

This is our first class of the year for 9-12 year olds. Mornings can be hectic for everyone, so our goal is to put together nutritious, easy, and pleasing recipes that your child can make on the weekend to prep for the busy week ahead. We’ll make granola that we will taste with fruit and yogurt, muffins that can be adapted to all sorts of fillings, and mini-frittatas (aka eggs in muffin cups!). These are simple recipes the kids can put together themselves, and all you need to do is preheat the oven for them!

2/20/2018 Dumpling Master – Celery Sous Chefs
2/23/2018 Dumplings Around the World – Broccoli Head Chefs 

Dumplings

Over February vacation we are offering a class for each age group to celebrate the Olympics. Each class features dumplings and is adapted to the different skill levels. The class on February 20th is for our Celery Sous Chefs (5-8 year olds). We will learn the basics of dumpling making and then everyone will get to fold their own.

The class on February 23rd is for our Broccoli Head Chefs (9-12 year olds). We will play Dumplings Around the World, a matching game with different countries and dumplings. After the game we will make Korean mandu and another surprise dumpling.

Both classes will focus on dumplings as delicious vehicles for a variety of vegetables as we celebrate other cultures. International attire (anything that represents another country) is encouraged.

Registration for all three classes is currently open:

Morning Rocket Fuel – Tuesday, January 23rd, 2018, 3:30-5:30pm

Dumpling Master – Tuesday, February 20th, 2:30-3:30pm

Dumplings Around the World – Friday, February 23rd, 2018, 2:30-4:30pm

 

You can view the full program schedule for 2018 here.

Playing outside in the snow is great fun, but we can only spend so much time out in the cold before coming in to warm up. That makes winter a great time to work on our indoor skills like cooking! We have a great variety of cooking classes coming up for 5-12 year olds.

1/23/2018 Morning Rocket Fuel – Broccoli Head Chefs

 

This is our first class of the year for 9-12 year olds. Mornings can be hectic for everyone, so our goal is to put together nutritious, easy, and pleasing recipes that your child can make on the weekend to prep for the busy week ahead. We’ll make granola that we will taste with fruit and yogurt, muffins that can be adapted to all sorts of fillings, and mini-frittatas (aka eggs in muffin cups!). These are simple recipes the kids can put together themselves, and all you need to do is preheat the oven for them!

2/20/2018 Dumpling Master – Celery Sous Chefs

2/23/2018 Dumplings Around the World – Broccoli Head Chefs

 

Over February vacation we are offering a class for each age group to celebrate the Olympics. Each class features dumplings and is adapted to the different skill levels. The class on February 20th is for our Celery Sous Chefs (5-8 year olds). We will learn the basics of dumpling making and then everyone will get to fold their own.

The class on February 23rd is for our Broccoli Head Chefs (9-12 year olds). We will play Dumplings Around the World, a matching game with different countries and dumplings. After the game we will make Korean mandu and another surprise dumpling.

Both classes will focus on dumplings as delicious vehicles for a variety of vegetables as we celebrate other cultures. International attire (anything that represents another country) is encouraged.

Registration for all three classes is currently open:

Morning Rocket Fuel – Tuesday, January 23rd, 2018, 3:30-5:30pm

Dumpling Master – Tuesday, February 20th, 2:30-3:30pm

Dumplings Around the World – Friday, February 23rd, 2018, 2:30-4:30pm

You can view the full program schedule for 2018 here.

Read the rest of the January Sprout!

2018 Summer Sustainable Farming Internship

Spend your summer working with a leading Central Massachusetts non-profit organization as they continue to improve operations and evaluate farm production.  Learn the basics of non-profit operations, sustainable farming and volunteer organizing while you spend your summer outdoors working with a diverse group of staff and volunteers.  Be part of a dynamic team aiding hunger relief in Worcester County while exploring your future.

Responsibilities
Our Summer Farming Interns will participate fully in all aspects of operating a non-profit volunteer farming organization.  They will have direct hands on engagement in farming over 10 acres of vegetables and 30 acres of fruit trees.  The internship includes working with and leading volunteers in farm activity while gaining valuable leadership and communication skills.  The internship also includes off site visits to partner organizations which allows students an opportunity to learn more about local hunger relief efforts.

Tasks include but not limited to:

  • Assist with farm tasks like maintenance (tending, harvesting, irrigating, mowing, etc.) and lead diverse groups of volunteer farmers in daily operational activities at our farms primarily in North Grafton, MA.
  • Occasional visits to work with our orchard team in Harvard, MA will be required.
  • Assist with maintaining a positive volunteer experience for all who visit the farm
  • Complete a group project that will benefit future operational capability
  • Other tasks as needed

Requirements, qualified applicants will:

  • Have interest and/or some experience in farming or gardening
  • Be an excellent communicator and be able to demonstrate previous leadership responsibility
  • Be able to lift farm equipment and/or produce weighing up to 50 pounds
  • Be prepared for work in outdoor weather conditions, we operate rain or shine
  • Work within a team or independently, be self-motivated, with great attention to detail
  • Have reliable transportation
  • Be available for 35 hours per week, June through August, working primarily morning hours with an occasional late afternoon/early evening or Saturday

Community Harvest Project (CHP), a 501(c)3 organization, is dedicated to improving access to healthy foods through community engagement.  Through their volunteer farming, education, and volunteer programs and partnerships, they bring thousands of community members together each year to build an engaged and healthier Worcester County.  In 2017 working together with over 8,400 volunteers they produced significant fresh produce resources for individuals and families in need throughout our community who otherwise may not have had access.  The produce is donated through numerous partner organizations such as The Worcester County Food Bank, Community Servings Jeremiah’s Inn and The Hector Reyes House.  CHP operates at Brigham Hill Community Farm and White’s Farm in North Grafton, MA and at Prospect Hill Farm in Harvard, MA.

For more information about their programs and impact, please visit www.community-harvest.org.

Contact

To apply send letter of interest and resume via e-mail to Wayne McAuliffe, Volunteer Program Manager, at wayne@community-harvest.org

There’s Still Time to Give!

 

CommunityHarvest201709-216_previewAs the year comes to a close, we reflect on the astounding work that was accomplished on our farms this season. You came together to learn and farm in order to give back to your local hunger relief network. Thank you for time and support.

But there’s still time to give back this season. Your support ensures the strengthening and continuation of our programs. Give the gift that keeps on giving and donate today so we can better serve our communities tomorrow. Please remember Community Harvest Project as your make year-end donations. CHP is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization and all gifts are 100% tax-deductible.

Each year we continue building a healthy and engaged community through volunteer farming and nutrition education. This year, your help enabled CHP to donate 1,130,496 servings of fresh fruits and vegetables through 15 local community partners serving 90,000 individuals and families. Our volunteers are how we get the job done. 8,456 community volunteers of all ages helped us get the work done.

Your support allows up to improve our programming. Here’s what our 2017 volunteers had to say after visiting CHP:

4.8/5 Volunteer Experience

92% want to eat more fruits and vegetables
95% are more likely to volunteer in their communities
96% place increased value on the importance of fresh fruits and vegetables on the overall health of our community

“I have a greater appreciation for where our food comes from. I’m grateful for my time at chp!”

 

“I was excited my kids could help with so much like to pick, and sort and box tomatoes that will feed hungry people this week. We will all be coming back!”

Read the rest of the December Sprout!

Introducing Our 2018 Cooking Classes

 

kids cooking 2Education programs are expanding! In 2018 CHP will be offering nutrition and agriculture education programs for three different age groups including kids from 2-12 years old. All programs are open enrollment, so they are open to children from any town and you can sign up for the programs that work best for you and your child’s schedule. All of our programs include a nutrition lesson, many opportunities for participants to try new vegetables, and hands-on activities. All classes are vegetarian, but may include allergens.

Each class has a different theme, and we have some great topics planned for the year. We’ll be learning about the importance of eating breakfast and cooking easy make-ahead recipes like muffins and granola, making Korean mandu dumplings for the Olympics, baking desserts with secret ingredients, harvesting directly from the learning garden and then cooking the vegetables, and having a special Halloween class featuring the Beta Carotene Monster! See the full class lists for all age groups below. All class registrations are open, and class sizes are small to ensure there is lots of hands-on activity for each child.

kids cookingAll program descriptions and class registration links can always be accessed from our education page: http://www.community-harvest.org/education/. We hope your child can join us for a program in 2018!

Broccoli Head Chefs: 9-12-year old cooking classes

These 2-hour classes are geared towards 9-12 year olds and emphasizes specific nutrition topics, following advanced recipes, and adjusting recipes to your own tastes.

Morning Rocket Fuel, Tuesday, January 23rd, 2018, 3:30-5:30pm

Dumplings Around the World, Friday, February 23rd, 2018, 2:30-4:30pm

Secret Ingredient Desserts, Thursday, March 15th, 2018, 3:30-5:30pm

You Can Make Pasta!, Monday, April 30th, 2018, 3:30-5:30pm

The Nutrient Games, Tuesday, May 15th, 2018, 3:30-5:30pm

Salad Dressing Lab, Thursday, June 28th, 2018, 2:30-4:30pm

Rethink Your Drink, Monday, July 16th, 2018, 2:30-4:30pm

Herbal Mania, Monday, July 30th, 2018, 2:30-4:30pm

Becoming a Pickle, Tuesday, August 14th, 2018, 2:30-4:30pm

Garden Scavenger Hunt, Tuesday, August 28th, 2018, 2:30-4:30pm

Tomatoes Tomatoes Tomatoes! – Thursday, September 13th, 2018, 3:30-5:30pm

Whole Grain Goodness – Thursday, September 18th, 2018, 3:30-5:30pm

Apples Apples Apples! – Tuesday, October 16th, 2018, 3:30-5:30pm

The Beta Carotene Monster – Tuesday, October 23rd, 2018, 3:30-5:30pm

Magic Eggs – Tuesday, November 27th, 2018, 3:30-5:30pm

It’s a Party! – Monday, December 10th, 2018, 3:30-5:30pm

 

Celery Sous Chefs: 5-8 year old cooking classes

These 1-hour classes are geared towards 5-8 year olds and emphasizes basic nutrition, reading recipes, measuring, and tasting new things.

Morning Rocket Fuel – Tuesday, January 16th, 4-5pm

Dumpling Master – Tuesday, February 20th, 2:30-3:30pm

Secret Ingredient Desserts – Thursday, March 8th, 2018, 4-5pm

Quesadilla Quest – Monday, April 23rd, 2018, 4-5pm

I Can Eat a Whole Plant! – Tuesday, May 8th, 2018, 4-5pm

Glorious Green Foods – Thursday, June 21st, 2018, 2:30-3:30pm

Scrumptious Smoothies – Monday, July 9th, 2018, 2:30-3:30pm

Pesto Power – Monday, July 23rd, 2018, 2:30-3:30pm

Rainbow Salsa – Thursday, August 9th, 2018, 2:30-3:30pm

Garden Scavenger Hunt – Tuesday, August 21st, 2018, 2:30-3:30pm

Tomatoes Tomatoes Tomatoes! – Tuesday, September 11th, 2018, 4-5pm

Whole Grain Goodness – Thursday, September 20th, 2018, 4-5pm

Apples Apples Apples! – Tuesday, October 9th, 2018, 4-5pm

The Beta Carotene Monster – Tuesday, October 23rd, 4-5pm

Personalize Your Pizza – Tuesday, November 13th, 2018, 4-5pm

Delightful Dips – Monday, December 3rd, 2018, 4-5pm

 

Pepper Pack: 2-4 year old farm activities

This 1-hour program is for 2-4 year olds and includes a hands-on volunteer farm activity, vegetable tasting, and another activity geared towards the season. We may plant something to take home, visit the tractors on the farm, or read a story. Registration is not required for this program – just show up! Cost is $10 per adult/child pair. All Pepper Pack programs take place on Tuesdays and are from 10-11am.

May 22nd, 2018

June 5th, 2018

June 19th, 2018

July 10th, 2018

July 24th, 2018

August 14th, 2018

August 28th, 2018

Read the rest of the December Sprout!