Westport celebrates harvest, restored 'poor farm' house
Perfect late October weather greeted hundreds of people who celebrated the harvest at Westport Town Farm Saturday.
A highlight of the afternoon was a ribbon cutting to the farmhouse at the Drift Road waterfront farm. That house has been the focus of a thorough restoration effort overseen by The Trustees of Reservations which leases and operates the town-owned property. Visitors were then given a tour of the house— the fact that work is not quite
done was a bonus since it provided glimpses of ancient beams through walls that are about to be covered over once more.
Elsewhere, visitors were shown around the Town Farm vegetable garden that this year has provided record bounty for local food banks.
Other attractions included music by the Spindle Rock River Rats, food by Smoke and Pickles, farm produce, and young goats, alpacas, rabbits and more. Many took advantage of the warmth and took a hike down farm fields to the river.
The Trustees’ 2012 harvest had many highlights. It was the largest ever for The Trustees, with over 5,000 pounds of fresh produce donated to the Westport Council on Aging, the Westport Food Pantry, and The United Way of Greater New Bedford’s Hunger Commission. This effort was lead by Steve Connors, The Trustees’ farm manager, and made possible by volunteers and the South Coast Youth Conservation Corps, a youth employment and education program of The Trustees.
This year, The Trustees “harvested” a crew of nine students, who were assigned to the agriculture program at Westport Town Farm and Cornell Farm, an increase from five in the previous year. In addition to the weekly food donations, the students shared their knowledge and produce with the community at farmers markets around Bristol County. The entire Youth Corps Program expanded to 36 students through a new partnership with the Southeastern Environmental Education Alliance (SEEAL), a Program of the Community Foundation of Southeastern Massachusetts.