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Share The Harvest Farm: Sharing And Caring For The East End

Some of the Share the Harvest Farm staff. (Courtesy Photo)

The mission of Share the Harvest Farm is as simple as it is noble, and, unfortunately, necessary - and that is the belief that "Everyone is entitled to fresh, nutritious food, and to grow high-quality produce for donation to local food pantries and other organizations to increase access for all to healthy products, and to raise awareness about food insecurity on the East End." This food is not what is left over or lacking in quality, but what you would want on your own dining table.

Founded in 2010 on a half-acre of land in East Hampton, the non-profit organization now operates seven acres with a group of concerned, civil-minded residents and farmers who are dedicated to growing and donating "Thousands of pounds of fresh, highly nutritious vegetables and herbs that serve numerous local organizations that feed hundreds of children, seniors, disabled people, and low-income working families in our community." Additional donations have allowed the organization to build a greenhouse that extends the growing season so produce can be delivered year-round.

"Share the Harvest is currently the only farm on the South Fork whose primary mission is to fight food insecurity. Last year alone we donated nearly 30,000 pounds of produce to our partner organizations. Other farms and businesses also donate produce to food pantries, schools and non-profit organizations, and we are fortunate to partner with many of them to increase access to fresh produce, decrease food waste, and raise awareness about hunger in our community," according to Farm Staff member, Jess Tonn.

The team works on transplanting. (Courtesy Photo)

Among the organizations that Share the Harvest Farm donates to are South Fork food pantries, The Retreat women's shelter, East Hampton Town Senior Citizens Nutrition Center, as well as affordable housing complexes and low-income working families.

Using "Organic methods to encourage a diverse and thriving soil ecosystem that provides a healthy environment for crops with focus on nutrient-rich vegetables and cold-tolerant staple crops" Share the Harvest Farm is able to "provide much-needed produce in early spring and late fall, when many families in our community are struggling to make ends meet."

Farm Staff member, Marielle Ingram, further explained, "Share the Harvest has been fortunate to find a wonderful response from the community and surrounding organizations that support our cause. Last year, we were able to establish steps towards a no-waste food system by partnering with Amagansett Food Institute to freeze excess produce that would otherwise not make it to our neighbors' table. Our produce can now be distributed to community members throughout the winter, when food insecurity is highest. We hope to connect with more farms in the area to aid the hunger issues in towns farther outside our current distribution range and continue our year-round donation efforts."

Songs for the Farm will take place on March 2. (Courtesy Photo)

Continuing, Ingram relayed, "We deliver the majority of our produce directly to our partner organizations, which include food pantries, senior centers, affordable housing developments, and schools. We support this mission by operating a small farm stand that is open to the public at 55 Long Lane in East Hampton. Our farm stand features Share the Harvest's organically grown vegetables, herbs and flowers, along with a selection of fruit, cheeses, milk, meat, jams, honey and baked goods from many other local farms and businesses. Every purchase made at our farm stand not only supports a local farmer or food entrepreneur, but also helps feed a local family in need."

The Board of Directors and Advisory Board, along with several farmers, are pleased to announce an upcoming benefit, Songs for the Farm, to be held on Saturday, March 2, at 7:00 p.m. at The Stephen Talkhouse. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased at the door. The evening will include music from Klyph Black, Glenn Feit Sr., Rorie Kelly, OC/DC - Cynthia Daniels & Sarah Greene, Fred Raimondo, and more.

Share the Harvest Farm is located at 55 Long Lane in East Hampton. For more information go to www.sharetheharvestfarm.org.

Eileen Casey spent many years working in the television and music industries in New York City on the "ABC In Concert" weekly series, as well as several prime time network and cable television specials. An award-winning journalist, editor, and artist, and former Editor-in-Chief of Hamptons.com, she enjoys staying warm in Charleston and cool in the Hamptons.

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