Veggies For All has landed!

So what’s with the veggies all over campus?

Background

We’d love to share a little project background, if you don’t already know it:  Veggies For All (VFA) was founded by Tim Libby, project manager, and others in 2007 for the purpose of growing produce for hunger relief efforts.  The project grew about 1/4 acre of storage veggies in 2008 and 2009 on a private farm.  Over those two years about 7,000 pounds of produce was given to the Volunteer Regional Food Pantry.  Veggies For All became a project of the Unity Barn Raisers during that time, as well.

New Developments in 2010

This has been a year of transition and expansion.  VFA moved its base of operations to Unity College this spring in an effort to establish some infrastructure, develop volunteer opportunities, share resources, and gain connection to the community it serves.  In terms of acreage, VFA currently cultivates 1 acre of vegetables: two plots on the UC campus and two plots lent to us by community members.  To date, we’ve grown and donated about 8,500 pounds of veggies this year!  We anticipate impressive end of season yields.

How We Work

Vegetables grown by VFA are donated, in large part, to the Volunteer Regional Food Pantry in Unity, where they are distributed to those in need on a monthly basis.  We also share our bounty with a variety of pantries in other communities including Albion, Belfast, Fairfield, Liberty, the Good Shepherd Food-Bank, and other programs like the Open Door, Community Meals, and Empty Bowls.

Field work has been planned and managed by Tim for the past two seasons and continues this year.  Sara joined the team this year to manage administrative odds & ends (outreach, distribution, partnerships) and to be a part-time farmhand.  UBR houses the project and manages financials.  The project receives oversight from a steering committee and the UBR board of directors.

Looking Ahead

We’ve still got a bit of harvest time ahead of us, but we’re thinking about next year already.  We plan to have some increased outreach to constituents, more volunteer opportunities, and more collaboration with folks doing related work.  We’d also like to gather some useful equipment (a moldboard plow, disk harrow, and subsoiler)  work on long-term soil health, and, of course, grow a few more veggies!

Feel free to contact us with questions, ideas, or if you’d like to be added to our volunteer contact list.  Don’t hesitate to let us know if you do not want to receive emails anymore.  An upcoming opportunity to volunteer is Unity Barn Raisers’ Day of Service event; register online at https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/N5R8DJJ.

Thanks for reading,

Tim + Sara | veggies@unitymaine.org

2 Responses

  1. […] things heat up- Veggies For All is in full swing, the greenhouse is cranking, and campus is green and […]

  2. […] hens and roosters are currently doing their part for the Veggies For All winter-squash field by integrating their own brand of fertilizer to the topsoil.  Using the […]

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