Veggies For All 2013: numbers and pictures

2013 was HUGE for Veggies For All.

We could go on and on, but we are so anxious to get on with 2014, that we are reporting out on 2013 report in numbers and pictures:

21,190 pounds of vegetables…More than any year in our  history!

1,500 people fed (about 800 in our local community and 700 in the wider region, through the VRFP)

412 volunteer hours

9 Unity College classes engaged in service and research with us this year

3 AMAZING volunteers who logged dozens of hours each as individuals  (You know who you are!)

2 events at which our students led worksongs while they helped out

1 great idea, that is still fresh after 7 years, and continues to fuel our collaboration: Our neighbors deserve access to healthy, wholesome food that was grown in their community.

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seeking harvest helpers @ VFA

IMG_6919Want to get your hands dirty with Veggies For All?  Well… mark your calendar, roll up your sleeves, and dig in!

Join us for any of the following service opportunities- and feel free to contact us for more details, to RSVP, or to arrange for travel.

September 26 – BIG POTATO DIG day @ our School Street field

Three opportunities to pitch in on Thursday:

  • 11:00AM-1:00PM lunch power hour
  • 2:30PM-3:30PM afternoon spud block I: warm-up for WORKSONGS
  • 3:30PM-4:45PM afternoon spud block II: diggin’ & singin’ with WORKSONG class*

September 30 – SQUASH HARVEST @ the field near Maintenance

  • 12:30-2:20PM with Organic Horticulture class*

October 5 – CARROT DIG @ our “white house” field

  • 12:30-4:00PM with Unity Barn Raisers Day of Service
  • register with UBR

October 21 // GARLIC PLANTING @ the field near Maintenance

  • 12:30-2:20PM with Organic Horticulture class*

November 7 – THRESH THEM BEANS! location TBA

  • 3:30-4:45PM with WORKSONG class*

Ongoing – CABBAGE HARVEST @ our Albion Road field

  • connect with us to make a date!

* Events that are affiliated with certain classes are ALSO open to the public.  The Worksongs class will be teaching the volunteer crew some tunes to try out while we get to work.

Please contact the Sustainability Office for more info: x286.

 

July means…

hot stuff!

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As things heat up- Veggies For All is in full swing, the greenhouse is cranking, and campus is green and busy.

The seedling season is officially over now that the fall cabbages have been transplanted, so that makes life a little easier for the team.  One less piece of the puzzle to watch over.  An added bonus to the super hot weather: our little aphid problem seems to have resolved itself during a brief period when the greenhouse got a little too hot.

Our new gorgeous greenhouse is being kept neat as a pin by Food + Farm tech, Sarah B.   Because this is our first summer with the facility, Sarah is experimenting with the cultivation of hot weather crops.  Tomatoes, peppers, okra, and luffa squash have put on major growth in the last several days.

Tomatoes and peppers are crowd-pleasers.  The luffa squash, which can be dried into the bath “loofa” you’d find in the beauty products aisle, was Sarah’s choice.  Okra is a much less obvious addition; people seem to love it or hate it.  But a little bird told us that it is President Stephen Mulkey’s favorite, so we are giving it a whirl.

Out in the fields, it’s all about weed control with a few exceptions.  In the coming weeks, there are also plans to sow fall carrots and pick the early cabbage.  If you are curious about field near the Quimby Library, this is a “rest” season for that plot, which means we are cycling through a care regimen that includes cover-cropping, cultivating for weed eradication, and fallowing.

Currently, one round of cover crop has been incorporated and now Tim is engaged in, as he calls it, “killing weeds” by cultivating just after they germinate.  It’s one of the most fertile plots we manage- and we intend to keep it that way!  Next year, expect some healthy squash plants out there.

To stay in the loop on these projects and others, subscribe to the Sustainability Monitor or like us on Facebook.

Welcome, Sarah!

“I look at the world and ask,  ‘What needs to happen?’  Then I see how my passion can fit those needs.”

Who said that?  How do we get them working with our team?

Sarah B 1Sarah Bicknell, a current Sustainable Agriculture student at Unity, has joined the Sustainability Office as Food and Farm Projects Technician for the summer months.  We’re thrilled to pieces!

This student position, which was made possible with the generous support of the Sewall Foundation, is designed to further the hunger relief mission of Veggies For All by providing support in the veggie fields and creating more connectivity between the College and community food work.  Sarah will also manage some summer greenhouse projects and assist in other food security collaborations we maintain with local partners, such as the Volunteer Regional Food Pantry and Unity Barn Raisers, the administrative home of VFA.

Sarah is a continuous source of positivity and initiative on the worksite.  If you’re lucky enough to work with her- you will find yourself laughing a lot and working hard.   She is also an independent and dedicated team member who is not afraid to dig into tasks.  Her passion for this work is crystal clear!

Her experience includes an AmeriCorps Apprenticeship at The Youth Garden Project in Moab, Utah, an internship with Maine Farmland Trust’s Farm Viability office here in Unity, and volunteer-student greenhouse manager during the last semester.

She works on gardens and other projects at her off-the-grid homestead in Freedom when she’s not doing good work out in the community.

We have a feeling this is going to be a great year…

Welcome, Sarah!

Pastured Poultry Portland Press

Community Meal and Onion Planting Saturday

The monthly Community Meal to support Veggies for All takes place this Saturday at 5.  Join us at the Community Center on School Street for burgers, beans, fiddle heads , lawn games, and more.

And  help VFA plant onions in the library field at 3pm Saturday. No experience necessary.

Unity FFA visits Waldo County Tech FFA

From Shayne:

A group of Unity College students who are part of the College’s FFA club visited the FFA club of Waldo County Technical Center to collaborate on the current Pastured Poultry for Food Security project that was made possible by the National FFA Food for All Grant. The meeting started out by playing the icebreaker game  “Have You Seen My Goat” so that students from both schools would get familiar and  be open for discussion later in the meeting, then we moved on to a presentation by the Unity College FFA members that informed Waldo County FFA students about the project, some basic information on pastured poultry, and general chicken knowledge.   After this the students from both schools came up with some ideas on how to build chicken tractors and made recommendations for the structures.   The collegiate FFA students brought 2 of the chicks along for the ride to show the high school students just how fast they are growing.  When the Waldo County students visit the College, they will be spending time assessing the animals and the pasturing system- but they will also get shown around campus by of one of our student tour guides.  The Waldo County Tech FFA adviser says her students are excited to see the chicken’s progress, but they also want to “get a chance to look inside some of the College buildings.” Overall both groups had fun and look forward to the visit.

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