Westport Town Farm invites all to celebrate harvest

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WESTPORT — The Trustees of Reservations will host its fourth annual Harvest Festival on Saturday, October 20, from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.

All are welcome to join this free celebration, which will feature family activities, a one-day farmer’s market with Westport area farmers, music by the Spindle Rock River Rats and local food prepared by Smoke and Pickles.  Youngsters can paint pumpkins, join a scavenger hunt, play games and interact with goats, rabbits and alpacas from nearby farms.  Following a ribbon cutting at 1 p.m., The Trustees will provide tours of the renovated historic farmhouse.

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.

Another highlight of this year’s harvest was the renovation of the farmhouse. While not producing food, The Trustees partnership with the Town of Westport grew and harvested a newly renovated farmhouse. After years of planning with architect Timothy Bryant and the Westport Historical Commission, this historically sensitive renovation finally became reality. Harvest Festival visitors will see the result of this careful and diligent work, which includes examples of “green” and sustainable building practices. The house is the future site for The Trustees and Westport Land Conservation Trust office.

Admission to the Harvest Festival is free, with donations welcome.  Vendors will be charging for food and beverages. The Westport Town Farm is located at 830 Drift Road, Westport, Massachusetts.  For more information please call 508-636-4693, ext. 13.

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