I was quite shocked recently to read some considerable information regarding the number of children and families in our county without enough to eat. It's very disturbing.
A few years back I was asked to provide visuals for a local group who put together bags of groceries for area families. The group “Food for Thought” met in the basement of what used to be St. Andrews Hospital to package foods for distribution throughout the region. I was shocked then, too. We have always been so fortunate. I had never given much thought to the lack of food for anyone here. That gang did a great job and really educated me about the local need for support.
Recently, one of the “Food for Thoughters” scooted me an email about a new organization that is providing fresh organic vegetables to food pantries, familes and organizations — real pristine, grown by hand, without machines, genuinely gorgeous, as good as it gets, loved and spoken to food. Free! It was deja vu all over again. I asked for directions.
The Newcastle farm, “Veggies to Table,” had to be seen. Oh ye of great GPS-less travel, promptly got lost. My father frequently commented about our mother's ability to get lost in a telephone booth. I resemble that comment. Eventually, with the help of a nice bicycle riding villager, I rambled down the proper dirt road, through the woods to an oasis of green!
Erica and Alain decided that they wanted to do something to help people. Just like that. They moved from France to the woods of Newcastle to start a farm, grow organic produce and give it to a needing population.. They could have chosen otherwise, but they felt it was important to provide fresh nutritious food and to teach others. Education about good food is a big part of growing a more nutrition aware population.
Nobody was twisting their arms. Their arms were full. This was a project undertaken on their own with only volunteer help. They didn't have much but their own will and effort to rejuvenate good soil and start growing. Neither had farming experience. Honestly, I don't know how they did it.
Erica writes a blog, manages the website, applies for grants, prays for rain and gets about five hours of sleep a night. Alain also teaches Spanish and French to Wiscasset school children. He was a physical therapist in France. He does a lot of the heavy lifting, digging, sawing and berating the new rooster! Together, with a handfull of volunteers and a lot of sweat equity, they have managed to produce magnificent food to give away.
If I were a betting person, I would suspect that they could use some help. Erica said they really would love a greenhouse and a cold storage building to manage food outside the growing season. If you are inclined to be supportive, please contact them, either through their website at https://www.veggiestotable.org or directly by mail at #4 Mill Road, Newcastle, Maine, ME 04553.
I'd bet they would be some overjoyed for your support. But, you didn't hear me say that.