What’s Cooking: Breakfast Made Easy

Weekdagranolay mornings can be a stressful time. Making sure everyone is ready and out the door on time can take a lot of effort, and sometimes a wholesome breakfast gets forgotten. But breakfast is so important for growing brains! According to the CDC, “Eating a healthy breakfast is associated with improved cognitive function (especially memory), reduced absenteeism, and improved mood.”

In our January Kids Cooking Classes we focused on recipes that can be made on the weekend for the whole week ahead. We made different kinds of muffins, mini frittatas, and this delicious granola. The kids tasted the granola with fresh fruit and yogurt, and the recipe is below!

Our next cooking classes take place over February vacation and focus on vegetables in small packages: dumplings!

Dumpling Masters: Celery Sous Chefs (5-8 year olds), February 20th, 2:30-3:30pm

We will make the filling and then learn how to fold Korean mandu.

Register for this class here: https://www.tfaforms.com/4650597

Dumplings Around the World: Broccoli Head Chefs (9-12 year olds), February 23rd, 2:30-4:30pm 

In this class we will play a country and dumpling matching game, plus make two kinds of dumplings including Korean mandu.

Register for this class here: https://www.tfaforms.com/4650789

Olive Oil Granola

  • 3 cups rolled oats
  • 1 1/2 cups pecan halves, broken into pieces
  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup dried fruit, such as raisins, fried cranberries, cherries, or currants (optional)

Preheat your oven to 300F.

Combine oats, pecans, coconut, and sunflower seeds in a large mixing bowl. Add maple syrup, sugar, olive oil, salt, and spices and toss until everything is evenly coated.

Spread the mixture out on a large baking sheet with rims on all sides. Bake for about 30 minutes, then give a good stir. Bake another 15 minutes or until granola is golden brown. It will be slightly soft and will harden as it cools.

Let granola cool completely. If you wish, add dried fruit.

Granola will keep for a few months in an airtight container. It doubles well (cook on two baking sheets), and makes a great gift.

Read the rest of the February Sprout!

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!

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
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
The TJX Foundation, Inc.
Tufts University
Webster Five Foundation
Worcester County Food Bank
Worcester Garden Club

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 


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!