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 – 8/10/19

Garlic harvest and new master gardener volunteers Last week was the week of garlic. Our plot of garlic was harvested, cleaned, and put away to cure with the help of many new volunteers. A call went out for extra help and our good friend and supporter Lynne Holland put the word out to her Master Gardner network. We had seven new volunteers join us with along with a visiting friend from Indiana! Everyone seemed to enjoy the farm and the work. We are hoping that some of them will be able to come back as regulars. As we ship the garlic out to recipients, we will hold on to the largest bulbs to use as our seed stock for our October planting. The variety we grow is called Music. The plot is now being prepared for a final broccoli and Chinese cabbage crop. 1000 pounds of veggies donated to neighbors in need With our three weekly gleanings we are averaging 1,000 pounds a week. Hoping this increases as our root crops get added to the mix. Thank you, Claire We had a goodbye potluck lunch for Claire. She was the last woman standing in our incredible mix of interns and WWOOFERs ... Click to read more.

August 12th, 2019|

Theda’s Farm Report – 8/3/19

Greens ready to go to a food access program! Farm is in high season, adding onions and celery to our list of veggies. That brings us up to 13 vegetables with several varieties in the mix. We have tried to always have some type of greens available with each delivery and so far have succeeded. This means succession planting of lettuces, to include summer varieties that are able to take the heat. Summer crisp and Slobolt are the two we have grown that don't get bitter. Started our garlic harvest. No signs of disease or insect damage. It gets cleaned, trimmed and stored to cure for a few weeks before we distribute it. Music is the variety we grow due to a taste test we did a few years back. We sort the bulbs and save the biggest for October planting. Merrymeeting Gleaners' sharing tables are making a difference I would like to talk a little about the sharing tables that are set up by the Merrymeeting Gleaners. Growing to Give donates veggies for the sharing table in Harpswell at the town hall. It is set up for three hours then any leftover food is taken to MCHPP or utilized if ... Click to read more.

August 5th, 2019|

Theda’s Farm Report – 7/28/19

Where's Rebecca? Last week I was in hot Ohio, glad to be home in warm and beautiful Maine. Cucumbers are the new zucchini! This summer's catchphrase seems to be, "cucumbers are the new zucchini!" Last year we had a bumper crop of summer squash especially zucchini. I have a photo of our neighbor and gleaner Lisa in the zucchini patch. Instead of where's Waldo, I call it "Where's Lisa?" I took one of Rebecca in the cucumber tunnel this week, and I call it "Where's Rebecca?" Funny they both have pink shirts on! What's happening in the fields We are up to 10 different vegetables being distributed this week and more varieties in the next week or so.   Our garlic harvest will be in the next two weeks, I think. MOFGA says when the last 2-3 bottom leaves lose their green color it will be time to harvest. We will dry and save enough bulbs for our October planting and the rest will be in the produce boxes for distribution.   Our Thursday volunteers along with our farm team planted 200 Chinese cabbage and 180 more broccoli plants for fall harvest. Our crew has planting down to such ... Click to read more.

July 29th, 2019|

Theda’s Farm Report – 7/13/19

Big week of firsts for the year at Growing to Give this week. We had three gleanings this week. The new Friday gleaning went to the Harpswell Sharing Table. This week's boxes included our first turnips and cucumbers! The rest of the box was filled with chard, garlic scapes, and some huge 2-pound heads of broccoli. Also worth noting, our first two ripe tomatoes went up to the farmhouse to be shared. What's happening in the fields We uncovered as many crops as we could on cloudy days this week. With the next heat wave coming they do not need an extra 10 degrees from the cover. Happy to report there are lots of honey bees in with the zucchini flowers. They must have been waiting for those giant yellow blossoms to lure them in. Celery looks happy, still a couple of weeks out, but the red cabbage will start to get gleaned with the Wednesday harvest. Judy will be able to add tomatoes and cucumbers to her Monday deliveries. The cucumber beetles have been driven out of the cucumber tunnel and are not amongst the zucchini. The pursuit is on. An abundance of volunteers means more crops So many volunteers ... Click to read more.

July 15th, 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.)