When Morning Dew Farm’s Brady Hatch decided to study abroad in Thailand during her junior year of college, she did not know that decision would change the trajectory of her life. Fast forward 15 years to 2017, and that one decision to participate in CIEE’s development and globalization program was the catalyst for Newcastle’s Morning Dew Farm and Hatch’s role on the event committee for the Sunflower Celebration benefiting Friends of Thai Daughters (FTD) on August 4 at Darrows Barn in Damariscotta.
Hatch said, “CIEE’s program is built on principles of cultural immersion and community organizing, sending students into the field to interact with, learn from, and contribute to local communities and organizations.” As part of her experience, she visited families living on edges of train tracks fighting for land rights, interviewed sex workers, and spent a week with biodynamic rice farmers fighting to reclaim their soil health after it was ravaged by the chemicals of the Green Revolution. That latter experience led her to her life's work as a farmer. “I saw people dedicating themselves to improving the health of their human and environmental communities and came back to Maine wishing to do the same. I owe a debt of gratitude to the friendly, generous people who shared their stories and food with me.” Her experience in Thailand and interviews with the sex workers also attracted Hatch to the work of mid-coast based Friends of Thai Daughters. FTD prevents human trafficking in Northern Thailand through education, safe homes, and emotional support. Hatch says, “FTD is making an inspiring and tangible difference in the lives of young women, women who in turn, give back to their communities as teachers and mentors.”
In support of the August 4 event in Damariscotta, Morning Dew Farm is donating the proceeds of its Thai chili plants to FTD. Morning Dew is also donating its organic vegetables to Stone Cove Catering for the event’s mid-coast-meets Thailand menu and growing sunflowers to decorate the venue. Throughout July, event tickets will be on sale at Morning Dew’s farm stand at the Friday Farmers Market in Damariscotta, Mexicali Blues’ flagship store in Newcastle, Blue Tin Farm’s stand at the Boothbay Farmers Market and online at www.friendsofthaidaughters.org.
Joining Morning Dew Farm in their support of FTD and the celebration are lead sponsor Mexicali Blues; The First National Bank; Gallagher, Villeneuve & DeGeer; Split Rock Distilling; Oxbow Brewery; Mook Sea Farms; Long Grain and Best Thai restaurants; and Cellardoor Winery, all of whom are providing incredibly generous support for the celebration as well as for FTD’s growing program.