News2019-07-30T14:13:48+00:00

Notes From the Field

Read on to discover what we’ve been up to at Growing to Give.

Theda’s Farm Report – 9/14/19

This week was bittersweet, starting to harvest the Acorn Squash and putting in an entire tunnel of spinach. That is it for planting for this season, the spinach will be ready mid-October and, with the extra protection, hopefully the harvest will last a couple of weeks. Then as the days lengthen and the sun is higher in the sky the spinach should start to wake up and begin to grow again in mid to late February. Kathy and Judy tried out our seeder on the spinach beds and were amazed at its simplicity. The joke was that there should be notices at different locations such as; planted by: Kathy and Judy, weeded by The Saturday crew, etc.! As fall is approaching there are some tasks we do to prepare. Covering tender crops with row cover will give us a few extra weeks of harvest. Ten degrees of warmth for every layer. We cut back the tops of the pepper and tomato plants so that plant's energy goes into maturing the larger fruits. Cleaning up beds of plant debris and planting a cover crop for soil nutrition and protection. Harvesting herbs to dry and seed heads for next years crop. I am ... Click to read more.

September 15th, 2019|

Theda’s Farm Report – 9/8/19

Growing to Give's harvest this week Our total poundage of food harvested this week was close to 600 pounds. This was with two days of gleaning, Monday being a holiday and a day off at the farm. We're still harvesting over 12 varieties of vegetables and herbs. Wednesday gleaners going to 8 different locations. The tomatoes are slowing down in their production but we still have some amazing clusters in the greenhouse. We're still fighting off the hornworms and some creature outside who eats the low hanging fruit from the bottom up, leaving us a hollowed-out shell! Does anyone know who that might be? What are we planting? Our Thursday volunteers, with Rebecca's help, planted two beds of romaine lettuce and a bed of radishes. I got in one final crop of turnips. 35 days for the turnips so that will be a close one with our frost date at the farm which is usually around October 15. The cucumber tunnel was emptied out this week. Now for a top dressing of some compost and a cold-season crop of spinach for this fall and early spring. The fall planting of spinach will die back as the temperature drops and ... Click to read more.

September 9th, 2019|

Theda’s Farm Report – 8/31/19

Everyone seems a little sad with our beautiful summer coming to an end. We do have six more weeks of our growing season for those tender crops and two months for the cool weather crops. That is why we are still planting spinach, radish, lettuces, and turnips. Here is our Earthway Seeder being used to plant radishes. 900 pounds of mixed vegetables were sent out this week. Greenhouse Visitors We had some visitors in the greenhouse this week. A parasitic wasp laid her eggs on a tomato hornworm. Very exciting to have this happen, those eggs will now hatch out and help us control those pesky and damaging worms. Another surprise was a Black Swallowtail Caterpillar feasting on some dill. Notice how it's green spots mimic the buds of the seed head. Bowdoin Volunteers Other visitors were a team of incoming freshmen from Bowdoin college, who helped with gleaning and delivering to MCHPP in Brunswick. It is always great to introduce new people to our project. You never know what may happen with that introduction. This week's harvest Okay, you are probably a bit tired of me bragging about our bountiful pepper crop this year. I couldn't help myself from taking a photo of this ... Click to read more.

September 4th, 2019|

Theda’s Farm Report – 8/23/19

Support from Head Start Volunteers Lots of volunteers this week including five women from different Head Start Programs. They are the cooks from these schools and are determined to serve nutritious meals to the little 3-5-year-olds in their care. They were sharing ideas on how to sneak vegetables into the kids' meals! They helped us glean and then delivered to MCHPP in Brunswick. A good time had by all. Bill with a winning turnip! What's being planted? Some of our other regular volunteers kept us going on the succession planting of beets and lettuces. Spinach will be next, an entire plot outside and a tunnel planting as soon as the cucumbers retire. We will be trying two varieties in the tunnel and out in the field. We'll see how they compare after winter snows melt and they start to grow again. We had a turnip competition this week. Our gleaners, Bill and Carol came up with a couple of winners! 1,000 pounds harvested! We are in pepper season. We have five varieties being harvested. Czech Black from Fedco is a nice mild hot pepper, which is great for chili. It changes color from green to black and then on ... Click to read more.

August 26th, 2019|
See all the Notes From the Field

Events

1807, 2019

Film Screening of WASTED! & Panel Discussion – Thursday, November 7

WASTED! Film Screening & Panel Discussion 

Thursday, November 7 @ 7 PM

Frontier, 14 Maine Street, Brunswick

Come watch this important film and then stay for a panel discussion with local experts on the environment, food waste, and food insecurity. More details coming soon.

Film Description

WASTED! THE STORY OF … Click to read more.

2606, 2019

Open Farm Day

Date: Sunday, July 28

Time: 10 AM – 3 PM

Location: Growing to Give @ Scatter Good Farm (30 East Coxon Road, Brunswick)

Come see what Growing to Give has been up to and take a farm tour!

It’s the annual summer tradition! Bring family and friends to meet, explore and learn about Maine agriculture on Open … Click to read more.

In the News

“Brunswick group grows fresh produce for food banks” by Steve Minich (WMTW, 7/26/19)

A group in Brunswick is growing fresh, organic produce for area food pantries. Growing to Give is a WMTW News 8 Community Champion. Watch the video.

“Brunswick farm fights food insecurity with ‘Growing to Give'” by Elizabeth Clemente (The Forecaster, 6/8/18)

“It’s easy to miss Scatter Good Farm while driving along the winding East Coxon Road. But a food bank at the farm is attracting attention for helping several organizations fight food insecurity in Maine.” (read more)

Update: 17,000 lbs. were grown and donated in 2018, but the goal for 2019 has been revised to 18,000 lbs. The tentative goal for 2020 is 25,000 lbs.

“Growing to Give” by David Treadwell (The Times Record, 6/8/18)

“Great things can happen when good friends with big hearts and fine minds have a good idea. Growing to Give stands as a shining example.” (read more)

Article featuring Growing to Give volunteer Robin Knight (L.L.Bean intranet, October 2018)

“Manufacturing’s Robin Knight knows a lot about working with her hands. After all, she’s a Bean Boot finisher skilled at crafting our most iconic product. And, on Saturdays, she uses her hands in a different way, as a volunteer at Scatter Good Farm’s, Growing to Give program.” (read more)

Newsletters

With fall vegetables still being harvested, and preparations well underway for early spring harvest, things are still busy at Growing to Give. But as Thanksgiving Day approaches, we hope you’ll join us in taking a few moments today to reflect on the true spirit of thanksgiving days – a spirit that countless humans have celebrated on special days over the millennia. It’s an overused phrase, but still true, that each of us reading this newsletter has so many things to be thankful for – good food most likely among them. And thanks to the efforts of a large number of volunteers and donors, the total number of pounds of fresh, high-quality organic vegetables grown and donated went from 3,600 pounds in 2017 to over 17,000 pounds in 2018! That’s the equivalent of food for over 14,000 meals for our neighbors in need. We know these recipients have been very thankful for that food, and Kim Gates, Executive DIrector of the Bath Area Food Pantry told us recently:

What an amazing thing you have done for so many! To say my clients are blessed with your generous produce donations is an understatement! I have a few families that ask for JUST produce because it is something they can not afford and the things we are getting from you and Growing to Give are beautiful. I love what we do in Bath for our food insecure families and individuals..and to have your fresh produce makes my job so much more rewarding!

It is simple – all people need good food. In this country, children should not go hungry over the weekend, people should not have to decide between paying rent or buying healthy food, and we should not stand by and let this happen.

We hope you will consider a donation today to help Growing to Give continue to serve the most vulnerable in our community – giving them the chance to be the best they can be. To give, please go to donorbox.org/2018-annual-appeal-3″

Tremendous Gratitude for all our Volunteers at Growing to Give!

Hundreds of volunteers helped us out in the fields this season – digging, planting, weeding, watering, and harvesting, as well as delivering produce to its many destinations. A huge thank you to the following groups: the Merrymeeting Gleaners and the Androscoggin Gleaners, Maine Coast Waldorf High School, Maine Coast

Waldorf 8th grade, Cheverus High School, Harpswell Coastal Academy-6th grade, Bowdoin College, Saint Mary’s Nutrition Center teen group, Maine Ultimate Frolic Women’s frisbee team, All Saints Parrish’s 2nd grade Sunday School Class, and several Cooperative Extension Master Gardener Class participants. Growing to Give would not succeed without the help we received from these generous groups. There were also many weekly individual volunteers throughout the summer who gave generously of their time and energy, sometimes through extreme heat, rain, and even snow! Thank you all!

2018 Food Recipients

In 2018, wIth the help from the MerryMeeting Gleaners and the Androscoggin Gleaners, 17,000 pounds of fresh, high-quality organic vegetables were grown and donated by Growing to Give – up from 3,600 pounds in 2017! That’s the equivalent of food for over 14,000 meals for our neighbors in need. The following 24 agencies, schools, and groups received and distributed this food, and we thank them for this service to the community:

Bath: Bath Area Food Pantry, Amistad Peer Learning Community, Bath Housing, Bath Head Start, Bath WIC, Huse School Apartments, Maritime Apartments, Salvation Army, Tedford Housing/ Evergreen Woods, Washington House, Sharing Table – Patten Free Library, Bath Soup Kitchen

Brunswick: Midcoast Hunger Prevention, People Plus/Meals on Wheels, SMCC @ The Landing

Harpwell: Harpswell School

Phippsburg: Phippsburg Elementary School

Lincoln County: Lincoln County Gleaners for special dinner

Woolwich: Woolwich Central School Backpack Program, Healthy Self Shelf

Freeport: Freeport Food Pantry at Freeport Community Services

Lewiston: St Mary’s Nutrition Center – Woodside Campus

Lisbon Falls: Campus Commons-Brunswick Senior Housing, Woodside Apartment-Senior Housing

Georgetown: Georgetown Community School

Other Happenings:

Our staff and volunteers were not only busy in the fields in 2018, but we also hosted hundreds of people at the farm for several events. In June we offered The Farmyard Jam – a Community Music Festival, and in August we held a wonderful Farm-to-Table Dinner serving 100 people to a sit down 4-course meal. Also in August, we served as a rest stop for the huge Farm to Fork Fondo cycling event, welcoming over 400 cyclists to the farm for a visit and a quick snack. Thanks to so many of you who helped organize and host these events, and to those who attended, sang, cleaned-up, posted flyers, sponsored, and donated!! We are very grateful!!

Growing to Give’s Board of Trustees

We would like to make a special mention and give thanks to several outgoing board members who have given graciously of their time and talents over the last year and a half: Craig Freshley, Steven Klockow,

Valerie Konstantino, Amy Tolk, and Abdul Yousef. Thank you very much for you service helping found this organization and shepherd it through many, many meetings! And we are excited to welcome to the board, starting in November: Suzanne Astolfi, Cathy McDonald, and Christine Sloan. The other current members of the board are: Melissa Doughty, Bobbi Goodwin, Bridget Jeffers, Jessica McCurdy, Will Sandstead, Sarah Sprogell, and Mike Wilson.

Plans for 2019

As with any farm operation, the planning for the next season is always underway. In preparation for the 2019 growing season, and after seeking input from volunteers from both Growing to Give and our main partner, the MerryMeeting Gleaners, we’re working on the following changes for 2019:

  1. Two new hoop houses that were generously paid for through grants from The Bowdoin Common Good Grant and The Agnes M. Lindsay Trust have recently been constructed and installed. These structures will extend our growing season by at least another 3 – 4 months and enable us to donate food to our recipient agencies earlier in the spring and later into the fall, when pantries are in even greater need of fresh vegetables. A huge thank you to these funders!
  2. Three new vegetable plots (each with four 50-foot rows) are being added, making a total of 24+ plots.
  3. A much improved wash station is being created, including a better roof for the east side of the Garden Shed. This will improve the process of weighing, washing, and packing vegetables before they leave the farm.
  4. A new “fabric” storage shelter, 12’x28’, has recently been constructed near the Garden Shed, more than doubling our processing and storage space.
  5. The driveway to the weighing and packing area has recently been widened to better accommodate the loading of gleaners’ vehicles.

Climate-friendly Agriculture

While most of the focus of Growing to Give is on food insecurity, and rightly so, another part of our mission is to promote climate-friendly agriculture. Of course, those who’ve spent much time on the farm have seen for themselves that we’re not a completely fossil-fuel free farm, but our two most-used pieces of motorized equipment (our hard-driving electric UTV and our hard-working electric irrigation pump, which are partly solar-powered) have just been serviced and are already looking forward to 2019! And for those interested in our use of carbon-sequestering biochar, the positive data continues to accumulate and we continue to be fans. By the way, Growing to Give is re-selling, at cost ($20), 30 oz. CharGrow biochar granules bottles in case any Growing to Give supporters want to try it in their home gardens! (Please note: we have a limited number of bottles.)