Adopt a Row or a Tree This Spring

DeanCerrati (8)Our greenhouse is filled to the brim with seedlings ready for adoption!

Adopt today to support their care for the 2019 growing season. Chose from Broccoli, Cabbage, Collard greens, Cucumbers, Eggplant, Okra, Peppers, Summer Squash, Sweet Potatoes, Tomatoes, Winter Squash, or Zucchini.  Or adopt one of these trees: Braeburn, Cortland, Empire, Fuji, Gala, Golden Delicious, Honey Crisp, McIntosh, Macoun, Mutsu, Red Delicious or, new this year, Peaches!

Support our 266 rows of crops and care for 3,660 apple trees by Adopting-a-Row or a Tree this spring!  When you adopt you allow us to care for your crop from fertilizing, watering and harvesting, then on to donation to someone in need on your behalf.

Donations of $250 or more will receive recognition at the farms for the duration of the growing season. Your support will go so much further than our fields. The average row yields over 2,900 servings of produce for donation each year and a single apple tree can over produce 700 apples – all for hunger relief.

By adopting, you make a difference in the lives of your neighbors. Your donation helps to put these fresh fruits and vegetables into the hands and homes of individuals and families who need it most. Together we are making a significant impact on hunger relief in our communities.

Donate today, and thank you for supporting local hunger relief.

Read the rest of the April Sprout!

Save the Date for Plantapalooza 2019!

d81_20180519_081403-edit-copy.jpgSpring is finally here and that means it is time for our annual plant sale fundraiser, Plantapalooza, to be held Saturday, May 18th from 7:30am – 12:00pm at 37 Wheeler Road in North Grafton, MA (rain or shine). The first 1,000 attendees receive a free 4-pack of tomato plants!

Come visit our farm to buy all of the annuals, perennials, herbs, fruits and vegetables you need to build a beautiful garden this season! We will have a large variety of heirloom tomatoes, native species, and herbs to spice up your garden. Our volunteer plant experts will assist you with your questions and help you find the perfect selection of plants to thrive in your yard.

While at Plantapalooza, make sure to stop by the CHP tent to learn more about out the work we do in the community. Community Harvest Project is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization and all of the proceeds support our mission of creating a healthy and engaged community through volunteer farming and nutrition education.

RSVP here to let us know we’ll see you on the 18th!

Interested in volunteering at Plantapalooza? Contact wayne@community-harvest.org.

Read the rest of the April Sprout.

Team Leader Open House March 23

Team Leader (7)Looking for an opportunity to feed your soul while helping others in your community? Have questions about how we operate our farms and how you can get involved? Have a few hours a week that you would like to volunteer?  Recently retired and looking for a new way to engage with your community? Enjoy being in the great outdoors with other like minded community members?  Enjoy meeting new people and helping others? Have time over the summer months to get behind a great cause? Need to fulfill service hours for college applications?  Want to help lead the large groups of diverse volunteers visiting our farms in North Grafton and our orchard in Harvard? Have a unique skill that you think can help advance our mission?   

We are always looking for new volunteers to join the team and offer lots of ways to help the cause.  Come out to our Annual Open House on Saturday, March 23 to learn more. We will offer tours every half hour from 11:00 AM to 2:30 PM and have some of our most experienced Volunteer Team Leaders here to answer your questions.  

Bring a friend and come find out about more about how you can help!

Read the rest of the March Sprout!

Winter at the Orchard

This winter, we have been busy, as always, at the Prospect Hill Community Orchard!  During these frigid winter months, we have bundled up in our balaclavas, buckled our snow boots, and devoted ourselves to pruning over 3,000 apple trees and 150 peach trees. We are making our way through the orchard, with just a few more chilly weeks ahead of us before we can retire our saws and loppers.  We couldn’t do it without the help of our dedicated volunteers and friends, the much esteemed ‘Tuesday Crew.” While everyone has enjoyed the snow, we can safely say that we’re looking forward to the promise of spring.

44601952_10156741402960917_164580423773454336_o-1.jpgThis season we welcome Savannah Eades as the Orchard Assistant. You may have already seen her around the orchard last fall helping with the apple harvest or this winter pruning the fruit trees.  Savannah was a 2017 intern at CHP where her friendly disposition and positive attitude made her a joy to work with. We are so grateful to now have her as a permanent part of the team! She received her BA in Environmental Studies from Clark University in 2018 and is now excited to be pursuing her interests in agriculture.

Thank You 2018 Corporate and Foundation Grantmakers!

unumEach year Community Harvest Project relies on generous donations from community grantors to keep our programs running. Last year was no exception and in 2018 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 curtailing erosion and launching a new education program with South High Community School called CRAVE (ClassRoom Agriculture and Vegetable Education). They also funded the vital basics that make our operation possible, like seeds and potting soil, cardboard boxes for distributing produce, and the staff that makes the fundraises, farms, educates, and manages our volunteer programs.

Thank you to our generous grantors, listed below, who ensure that CHP can continue fulfilling our mission. In 2018, your grant support helped enable CHP to donate hundreds of thousands of servings of fresh fruits and vegetables through 14 local community partners serving 90,000 individuals and families8,726 community volunteers of all ages helped us get the work done.

Accenture
Altria Groupa and Distribution Company
AmazonSmile Foundation
AvalonBay Communities
Avidia Bank
B.GOOD
Bank of America
Bay State Savings Bank
Bemis Associates, Inc.
Benevity Community Impact Fund
Berkshire Bank
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts
Boston Scientific
Bridging Peace Fund Of Tides Foundation
CarMax Foundation
Chipotle
Clif Bar Family Foundation
Clinton Savings Bank
Dana Hall School
DELL Technologies
Doe Family Foundation
Eastern Bank Charitable Foundation
Fallon Health
Fletcher Foundation
FM Global Foundation
Foundation for MetroWest
Fred Harris Daniels Foundation
Frederick E. Weber Charities Corporation
French Family Foundation
George & Alice Rich Charitable Foundation
Give With Liberty
Greater Worcester Community Foundation
Hanover Insurance Group Inc.
Harvard Pilgrim Health Care
Hoche-Scofield Foundation
Homefield Credit Union
Howard E. Stark Charitable Foundation
Intel
Lai (Voon Seng) Household
Leominster Credit Union
MathWorks
Mildred H. McEvoy Foundation
Milford National Charitable Foundation Inc.
Myra Kraft Community MVP Award
National Grid
Nypro – A Jabil Company
Ocean Spray
Osterman Propane
People’s United Bank
PolyOne Distribution
Project Bread
Quite Fetching
Roots in Nature
Ruth H. and Warren A. Ellsworth Foundation
Schwartz Charitable Foundation
State Street Foundation, Inc.
Stonewall Fund
Stop & Shop Supermarkets
Sunovion Pharmaceuticals
Target
Tufts University
UniBank
United Way Of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley
Unum
UPS
Vertex Foundation
Webster Five Foundation
Wegmans
Winning Home, Inc.
Worcester County Food Bank
Worcester Garden Club
Wyman-Gordon
Yesod Foundation, Inc.

2019 Brings Exciting New Changes to CHP!

Our New Executive Director

katWe are excited to announce the appointment our new Executive Director, Kat Edwards, who will be taking over the CHP helm from Cordelia Lyon. In her new position Ms. Edwards will lead the foundation’s strategic planning and execution by working collaboratively on a wide range of issues related to CHP’s mission. She plans to continue to develop and grow our community partnerships with leaders in food insecurity nonprofits, business, and government, as well as oversee the existing and evolving volunteer partnerships with our amazing farm and orchard managers. In her role as Executive Director Edwards will provide the Board of Directors with clear strategic leadership and tactical direction while overseeing daily operations at our Grafton farms and Harvard orchard properties.

She is an accomplished professional with many years in executive management of Boston companies and years of managing non-profit organizations. Ms. Edwards most recently worked as a private consultant to foundations and educational institutions, and before that was the Executive Director of The Rappaport Foundation in Boston. Prior to that she worked for The Concord Land Conservation Trust, as an Environmental Commissioner for the Town of Concord, and as Executive Vice President of Donald Tofias & Co. While working for the Land Trust and as a Conservation Commissioner, Edwards interfaced closely with developers, Trustees, town officials, landowners and wealthy donors on complex conservation initiatives and successfully managed the numerous acquisition campaigns for critical land threatened with development.

Kat’s extensive experience in nonprofit development and implementation of marketing strategies, e-based public relations, and communications initiatives also add to what she will be bringing to CHP. She has proven to be an innovative leader who demonstrates outstanding strategic thinking and analytical planning with flexibility, creativity and systemic thought. Edward’s diverse background and creative vision is the perfect fit to advance CHP’s goals of expanding its mission and creating new partnerships.

“I am so lucky to be part of the CHP team. I believe a great nonprofit team requires not only a deep commitment to the foundation’s mission, but also collaborative skills that include conviction, vision and tons of creative energy. I believe CHP’s sincerity of purpose inspires our volunteers to believe that they can make a difference, and then we enable them to make that difference. We plant the seed and they grow that dream into reality. Cordie did an amazing job at CHP and I am excited to move her work forward!” said Kat.

Please join us in welcoming her aboard!

Next month:

Our New Board Member: Bob Paulsen

A Board Member moves on: John Wornham

Schedule Your 2019 Volunteer Visit With Community Harvest Project

wegmanssunflowercrew2 07.29.2018As an organization that relies heavily on support from our community to do the work of the farm we are lucky to have such a loyal following of volunteers.  Year after year we see many of the same groups who look forward to coming out to our farms to assist us in providing healthy and fresh locally grown produce to our local hunger relief partners.  What better way to spend a cold winter day than to begin planning a visit out to our farms this spring, summer or fall?

As we head into the 2019 farming season we are excited to welcome both our loyal regular volunteers and the many new friends that we typically encounter throughout the year back to our farms.  With that comes the need to begin organizing the schedule, we will begin taking Group Volunteer Scheduling Requests for our 2019 Season on Monday, January 14th.    

Here are just a few of the comments from past visitors, come on out and join in the fun!community-servings-07.13.2018.jpg

“Please keep doing fun, community-driven, food-related, volunteering projects like this!”

“The importance of caring and helping those in need makes me feel good knowing that my small part in this experience will make a part of their life a little better or easier. “

“The people are wonderful, the experience is wonderful and I’m thankful that my company allows us time to step away from our desks and do something good for such a worthy cause. Thank you to all the good folks there that do what they do everyday to ensure those less fortunate can get healthy food into their diets.  Your work is so important and we ALL appreciate it and the opportunity to jump in and help every year.”

If you are interested in joining in for our 2019 Season and bringing your group out to volunteer it’s as easy as visiting our CHP volunteer page and filling out and submitting a Group Leader Interest Form.            

Apple Season is Almost Here!

Apple featured imageIt has been a hot summer and we are looking forward to the cool, crisp fall days that so many associate with heading out to the orchard to pick apples! We have been gearing up for harvest season at the orchard and will pick our first apples at the end of August. This year also marks the first season we will harvest from our new high-density apple trees planted in 2015.

Last year, we had a very good apple crop, with the orchard producing over 260,000 pounds of fruit. Apple trees naturally have a cyclical pattern of “on” and “off” years, meaning that one year the orchard could have a bumper crop of apples and the following year the orchard will produce less apples. Some apple varieties are more susceptible to this phenomenon. This fact, combined with certain weather events means that we will have a lighter crop this year.

We are looking forward to seeing many familiar faces, as well as new ones, to help with the picking and packing activities for our fourth harvest season at Prospect Hill Farm. It is hard to believe that in just a few weeks we will be boxing up apples to be shipped to our hunger relief partners. We hope to see you there!

Harvest Home 5K Registration Now Open

Harvest Home 5KThis heat has us looking forward to cooler fall weather – our Harvest Home Festival and 5K are right around the corner! Join us on November 4 for this fall festival, it’s the perfect way to celebrate the season and bring the community together in celebration of the harvest on our beautiful farm in North Grafton. All proceeds directly support CHP’s mission of building healthy and engaged communities through volunteer farming and nutrition education.

This year we are excited to announce a new course for our 5K Trail Run on the beautiful Williams Preserve and Grafton Land Trust trails. The 1 Mile walk and Kids Fun Run will begin directly after the 5K race kick off!

Registration is now open for this popular run, and we’re looking forward to another great year. Sign up at https://event.racereach.com/community-harvest-5k

Don’t forget that your race registration includes free admission to the festival! The family friendly festival begins at 11am and includes live music, food trucks, local beer, hay wagon rides, apple cannons, pumpkin catapults and more!

Introducing Our Wine Tasting Fundraiser!

Wine TastingCommunity Harvest Project is delighted to collaborate with Broken Creek Winery for an evening of wine tasting on Thursday, September 13th at 5:30pm. Social fundraisers like these are a great opportunity for our nonprofit to partner with local companies.  Each ticket includes a donation to support our hunger relief efforts, all year long!

Broken Creek Vineyard & Winery is family owned and located on 41-acres in Shrewsbury. Attendees can walk the vineyard and learn about all the wines grown there. It is the perfect setting for sunset pictures. Gather your co-workers, friends and family and come sample Summer White, Vidal Blanc, Marquette, Special Reserve and Maddie’s Rescue Red . If you taste a wine you love, Broken Creek has bottles available for purchase.  We will also be serving delicious hors d’oeuvres and each attendee will recieve a 20oz etched wine glass to take home.

Tickets are $35.00 and available on Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/wine-tasting-fundraiser-tickets-48593538582

Groups are encouraged to attend, and we hope to see you there!