We would like to thank our January grantmakers for continuing their support of our mission to provide fresh fruits and vegetables for hunger relief. The Fletcher Foundation has provided funds that will allow us to make important capital purchases that will be essential tools on our farm and orchard this upcoming season. We would also like to thank Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation for their continued support that will fund our general general farming operations. Our work in the fight against hunger would not be possible without generous grantmakers and donors. Thank you!
With over 3,000 apple trees in the orchard, pruning can be a daunting and time consuming task. To be exact, it takes the staff with the help of our “Tuesday Crew” volunteers three months to complete. This year has been particularly kind to the pruners, although we still have many weeks to go. The mild temperatures and little snow fall have made it easier to make our way through the orchard both because we are not trudging through snow and not wearing 5 layers of clothing to stay warm.
While some may think this a less than ideal time of year to spend hours and hours working outside, there are many good reasons why we prune in the winter. Maybe the most obvious reason is that we have more time available during this season when our days are not consumed by mowing, planting, harvesting, scouting the orchard, spraying, weeding and fertilizing. By the time January comes around, the trees have dropped their leaves allowing us to really see their structure and make the best cuts to promote growth where we want. When the trees are dormant there is a much lower risk of spreading disease, namely Fireblight, from tree to tree with pruning tools. But the most important reason we prune in the winter is because the trees are in a dormant state. Dormant pruning stimulates stronger, more vigorous growth. Basically, by pruning when the trees are dormant we are setting the trees up for a good start to the growing season where their stored energy can be utilized best on the branches we have selectively left to bear fruit.
In addition to pruning thousands of trees, we will also be removing approximately 100 of our older, less productive McIntosh trees this winter. In the Spring, we will replant with a new variety to our orchard called Ambrosia.
Dreaming of warmer weather and being out in the garden? Mark your calendars for our annual plant sale fundraiser, Plantapalooza, on Saturday, May 16th, 2020. Prepare to explore a huge variety of annuals, perennials, fruits, vegetables, sun and shade plants, heirloom tomatoes, and new this year, specialty hot peppers.
The first 1,000 attendees receive a free 4-pack of tomatoes!
For more information, visit our Facebook page!
All proceeds from this event will go toward supporting our mission of providing fresh fruits and vegetables for hunger relief.
Every year Community Harvest Project relies on the generous donations from community grantors and local corporations to keep our programs up and running. 2019 was no different. Our grants supported every aspect of CHP’s work from operational support to specific programs and equipment so that we could carry out our mission of farming for hunger relief.
Thank you to our generous grantors and corporate partners, listed below, who allow us to continue fulfilling our mission. In 2019, their support allowed CHP to host over 7,500 volunteers of all ages and backgrounds that helped us harvest and donate 417,644 servings of fresh fruits and vegetables through 16 local community partners serving 60,000 individuals and families across central Massachusetts.
Agnes M. Lindsay Trust
Bemis Associates INC
Bridging Peace Fund Of Tides Foundation
The CarMax Foundation
Clif Bar Family Foundation
DCU for Kids
Doe Family Foundation
Eastern Bank Charitable Foundation
The Fletcher Foundation
Fred Harris Daniels Foundation
Frederick E. Weber Charities Corporation
George F. and Sybil H. Fuller Foundation
Greater Worcester Community Foundation
Grimes and Company INC
Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation
Homefield Credit Union
The J. Irving and Jane L. England Charitable Trust
Nypro – A Jabil Company
People’s United Bank
Robert Half International
Schwartz Charitable Foundation
Stoddard Charitable Trust
TJX Foundation, Inc.
United Way Of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley
Webster Five Foundation
Winning Home, Inc.
White Charitable Trust
The 200 Foundation