July 25, 2016
Judging by the size of the broccoli, Twin Villages Foodbank Farm has some good, rich soil to work with. Farm Manager Sara Cawthon reports that despite a dry summer, the vegetables are thriving. Cawthon and volunteers have been kept busy harvesting crisp lettuces, kale, vibrant Swiss chard, mini cabbages, beets, squash and broccoli.
Thanks to the community and individual donors, the farm has been making regular deliveries to the Ecumenical Food Pantry in Newcastle, St. Philip’s Church Food Pantry in Wiscasset, the Jefferson Area Food Bank, and the Open Door Café in Damariscotta, with hopes to expand to other programs in neighboring towns in the 2017 growing season.
The Ecumenical Food Pantry is very happy to replace some of the “tired” donations of produce with fresh-picked vegetables from the farm. The food pantry in Wiscasset isn’t equipped to store much produce, so is grateful to receive a delivery of lush greens each week, timed to arrive just prior to the pantry’s hours of operation. The Jefferson Area Food Bank has recently expanded their efforts and hours and uses TVFF produce to meet their growing needs.
Twin Villages Foodbank Farm has been focused on building infrastructure to meet on-farm and area needs. Paul Kelsey of Reilly Well Drilling quickly fit the farm into his busy schedule to drill a new well in July, and geophysicist Chris Covel volunteered his time to find the best location for the well on the property.
Additionally, TVFF just installed a large walk-in cooler to accommodate farm needs as well as provide extra storage for pantries. There are times when donations of cold stored items exceed a pantry’s capacity to hold them, and pantries end up having to decline donations. Extra cold storage space at TVFF ensures that produce doesn’t go to waste, and a steady supply is available to food pantries.
Twin Villages Foodbank Farm operates on a modification of the popular Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) model. This variation on the CSA model allows individuals, families and businesses to purchase a symbolic farm share which will then be donated for distribution to Lincoln County pantries. These sponsored farm shares are available for purchase at different levels. Full shares for $300 will “Feed a Family,” providing enough food to feed a family of four with a full season’s harvest of varied produce. A half share for $150 will “Feed a Couple” and $75 will “Feed an Individual.” Of course, donations of any size are most welcome.
The farm’s goal over the next couple of seasons is to reach 175 donated CSA shares annually to sustain the operation. TVFF plans to expand in coming seasons to produce over 40,000 pounds of nutrient-dense produce for donation each year.
The Damariscotta River Association* serves as fiscal sponsor and provides land for the farm, which is located at Coastal Rivers’ Great Salt Bay Farm. For more information or to purchase a CSA, please contact Sara at firstname.lastname@example.org.
*Damariscotta River Association and Pemaquid Watershed Association unified in 2019 to become Coastal Rivers Conservation Trust.