Teamwork Makes the Dream Work

Each season a number of seasonal farmers join us to help support our Volunteer Farming Program. This year’s seasonal team has proven to be exceptional, and we hope you enjoyed your time with them. Here are just a few of their highlights from the summer:

Austin Moline, Orchard Assistant

AustinAustin’s interest in farming for hunger relief began long before he started work at CHP. For some years he has been looking to get involved in the non-profit agricultural sector. Austin is particularly interested in working directly with low income populations to help facilitate community sustainability through farming. His passion for growing healthy food with the community has made him a perfect fit for CHP.

This season, Austin has been busy working on many projects at the orchard including tree trellising, weed management, equipment maintenance, harvesting, and distributing produce. He has recently been spending much of his time leading volunteer groups as we work to pick and pack the apple crop. Thank you, Austin, for your dedication this season. Your willingness to lend a hand whenever needed has been a great help at both our farms this year. We appreciate all your hard work that has helped make this apple harvest at CHP the best yet! – Susan Conant, Orchard Manager

Jennessa Piccirilli & Brandon Sills, Farm Assistants

In a year of changes, we had two farm assistants who helped us through the season and we couldn’t have done it with out them. Jenessa Piccirilli has been with us since the beginning of the season, and brings so much cheer and joy to the team. Team leaders and regular volunteers appreciate her great attitude and willingness to do whatever task is needed to make the farm run smoothly.

Brandon Sills joined us midway through the season, and was a natural fit to the team. He often accomplishes our to-do lists before we even write them down, and also brings a lot of joy and energy to the job. We are so grateful to all that our farm assistants have done. Thank you guys!   – Jen Friedlander, Farm Manager

Read the rest of the September Sprout!

Volunteers of the Month: Dell EMC

IMG_2187.JPGAs we are winding down our volunteer season we would like to give a hearty thank you to our volunteers from Dell EMC.  As is always the case this group of volunteers is with us from the beginning of our season right to the end.  In fact the last group that will volunteer in North Grafton this year is one of our regular teams from Dell EMC. Whether it be early planting in cool temperatures or bad weather, weeding or harvesting in the heat of summer, helping to pick apples or working to prepare our fields for winter these teams always answer the call for help.  Coming from all parts of their company and all over the area and beyond we are lucky to have this team on our side.  

20170913_113421It’s funny how things around here take root, at this point there are Dell EMC Team Members who return year after year and look forward to visiting our farms.  These roots run deep and our estimate for Dell EMC Team Members that volunteered with Community Harvest Project this year is 909 volunteers that served over 2,700 hours helping us grow and distribute healthy locally grown produce to those seeking hunger relief services in our community.  Individually this is powerful work but cumulatively this group of volunteers is a force to be reckoned with.

With that being said we would like to collectively thank this group of volunteers for their impact on our work.  This relationship has grown immensely over the years and we are awestruck by the level of commitment we receive from the Dell EMC Community.  So, to each and everyone of you who came out to help or coordinated a group from the office we would like to say thank you.  Thank you for all of your effort, working through the cold, rain, heat and mud and giving us your energy and drive.  We can’t do this great work without the dedication of thousands and we are humbled by the fact that you choose to work with Community Harvest Project.  Thank you Team Dell EMC, we really appreciate this partnership and are already looking forward to your visits in 2018.    

Read the rest of the October Sprout!



Make an Impact All Year-Long

TractorFarming is always unpredictable, but this year we faced some particularly challenging situations. The heavy spring rains flooded our fields, delaying our plantings. The summer sun helped make up some lost time, but the unusually cool nights set our plants back again. As a result, our harvest season began several weeks later than normal, and our farm team had to get creative when it came to keeping the plants alive and happy!

It’s these unforeseen circumstances that remind us how grateful we are to have a special group of supporters, our Monthly Givers.  Monthly donations financially prepare the farms for summers just like this one.  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.

PeachPeach 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.”

Now is the perfect time to join Peach and become a Monthly Giver. 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 “Monthly Giver Pick-Your-Own 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 (185,000 pounds to date!)

It only takes a small commitment from each of us to make a big difference on our farms for the year.

Become a Monthly Giver today. It’s simple, just go online to

Thank you for your generosity!

Read the rest of the October Sprout!


Ready, Set, Go! It’s Harvest Home Time!

Sunday, November 5th (rain or shine)
37 Wheeler Road, North Grafton, MA

5K Kick Off: 10:30am (pre-registration begins at 9am)
Festival: 11am – 3pm

Admission: $10, 5 & under free, $30 max per family.
All kid’s activities are FREE after entry.

Join Community Harvest Project on Sunday, November 5th for our annual Harvest Home Festival & 5K! This fall festival is the perfect way to celebrate the season (and a Patriot’s bye week!) on our beautiful farm in North Grafton.

5KThe day kicks off with a 5K trail run or one-mile walk on the beautiful Grafton Land Trust trails and is followed by our Harvest Home Festival directly across the street. There will be plenty to do for the entire family including live music from Big Jon Short and the Mill Town Rounders, a selection of local food trucks and a variety of local beers.  Your kids will enjoy our popular crafts room, shooting apples out of cannons, bouncing on inflatables and watching our pumpkin catapult contest! Don’t forget to stop by the bake sale, pick up some raffle tickets for a chance to win great prizes, or make some s’mores in the picnic grove!

AlpacaIn addition to being a wonderful fall event, all proceeds support  Community Harvest Project’s mission of building a healthy and engaged community through volunteer farming and nutrition education. This event is an important part of our fundraising plan for the year so we hope you come have some fun at our Harvest Home Festival & 5K.

REGISTER for the 5K trail race and 1 mile walk here!

For more information visit or contact

Read the rest of the October Sprout!