Late June and July have brought an abundance of fresh produce to the fields of Twin Villages Foodbank Farm (TVFF). The farm crew has shifted gears from the busy planting of May and June is now harvesting and distributing produce to food pantries and programs across Lincoln County. Early harvested crops include a variety of head lettuces, beets, chard, kale, cabbage, summer squash and zucchini.
As the farm has had to adjust and respond to challenges due to the pandemic, it has put its volunteer program on hold this season. In order to get through the growing season without these volunteers, who annually account for 1,500-2,000 hours of labor, the farm has had to invest in some labor-saving equipment, including a tractor and compost spreader.
These purchases were made possible by a crowd-sourcing campaign launched earlier this spring by farm co-directors Megan Taft and Sara Cawthon, with support from TVFF’s partner Coastal Rivers Conservation Trust. Within two weeks, the farm surpassed its goal of raising $22,500, thanks in large part to a seed gift from The First National Bank of $7,500.
“The new equipment will ensure that amidst many changes, TVFF will remain a reliable and consistent source of fresh food,” said Taft. The farm is on track to grow and donate 50,000 pounds of produce and distribute over 20,000 pounds from other sources in the 2020 season to Lincoln County’s charitable food network.
“From its inception, the vision of TVFF has been to create a farm by and for the community. 2020 has been the greatest illustration yet that this vision has become a reality,” said Taft. “Amidst such challenging and divisive times, community support for TVFF is a clear demonstration that we are indeed a community with the desire and compassion to care deeply about one another.”
TVFF’s partner Coastal Rivers Conservation Trust is a non-profit, nationally accredited land trust with active programs in land conservation, water quality, trails and public access, and nature education in the Damariscotta-Pemaquid region. Coastal Rivers provides farmland and administrative support for the farm. For more information, email email@example.com or visit www.coastalrivers.org.