Friday, October 26, 2012

Farm-to-School Week Ends with Bountiful Harvest

Wells Junior High School student volunteers and staff pose with green beans that they picked on Spiller Farm in September. From left to right are Samantha Jones (Grade 5), Jessica Licardo (Grade 7), Abigail Bourque (Grade 7), Beth Cilluffo, Ethan Huber-Young (Grade. 7) Mary Rand, Caden Gibson (Grade 6) and Kerry Georgitis. (photo by Saul Lindauer)


Local farms’ food now in school lunches

‘Farm to School Week’ in the Wells-Ogunquit CSD concluded on September 30. Since 2005, this annual week-long event aims to bring locally grown food to the District’s lunch rooms in order to improve nutrition and create a greater appreciation for food from hometown farms.
Over the past seven harvest seasons, the WOCSD Nutrition Services, directed by Tyler Goodwin, has steadily increased the purchase of food from Chase Farm, Spiller Farm and Sunny Acres Farm, all located in Wells.
This year not only saw a continued increase in the purchase of locally grown food but the introduction of student and staff volunteers to participate in the harvest. In September and early October, up to twenty student volunteers and six Wells Junior High School staff took bus trips after school to Spiller Farm to help harvest bushels of carrots, green beans, and potatoes. The student and faculty participation on the farm was organized by WJHS science teacher, Saul Lindauer.
This year Spiller Farm agreed to devote space specifically for growing food for the District. Produce harvested from this area was sold to the District at a reduced cost. This new arrangement will allow Goodwin and staff to process and freeze a much greater volume of vegetables that can be offered throughout the school year.
Goodwin admits that buying locally adds work and costs to preparing school lunches but said that “the trade off is worth it to get farm fresh veggies” for students. Goodwin indicated that buying locally grown food provides fresh food high in nutritional value, a real “hands-on” education for school children in the growing and harvesting of food, the reduction of a school lunch program’s carbon footprint and support for local farms.
For several years, the Maine Department of Education has encouraged schools to buy more locally grown food to support the Farm to School initiative. Goodwin firmly believes that what goes into growing and preparing food should be a part of a student’s learning.

Story provided by Reg Bennett

OgunquitFest 2012 Winners

Littlefield Village's winning entry in the scarecrow contest (photo by John Hurley)

The 4th Annual OgunquitFest was held last weekend, featuring wild costumes, crazy races, fun for all and funds raised for some good charities.
Contest and race winners are listed below, as well as a mention of the beneficiaries and the money raised.

OgunquitFest Scarecrow Contest:
1st place: Littlefield Village
2nd place: Anchorage by the Sea
3rd place: Beachfire Bar & Grille

High Heel Dash:
Best Time: Lance Powers
Highest Heel: Bryan Wilson (platform); Robert Coles (non-platform)
Most Outrageous Costume: “Gigi”

Money raised from registration for the High Heel Dash and donations from the crowd during the race generated more than $2,000 for the Frannie Peabody Center in Portland. The donations included a check for $500 from Donato Tramuto, local business owner. This is the 4th annual high heel dash and Frannie Peabody has been the charity recipient all four years.

Bridge to Beach Bed Race:
Best Time: Meadowmere Resort
Second Best Time: Anchorage by the Sea
Old Timers
Best Time: Hot Flashes
People’s Choice: Hot Flashes
Beautiful Bed by the Sea (best costumes & decorations): Meadowmere Resort
Broken Spring Award (craziest): Hot Flashes

Money raised from the Bridge to Beach Bed Race went to the American Cancer Society the Animal Welfare Society, and the Marginal Way Preservation Fund. More than $3,000 total raised for those three organizations.

Keep South Berwick Warm Community Supper

Volunteers serve up a warm meal, and help raise money to warm houses this winter (courtesy photo)

The 5th annual Keep South Berwick Warm community soup supper will be held 5 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, November 7, at Spring Hill Restaurant on Pond Road in South Berwick. The proceeds from the supper will pay for fuel or weatherization for local families in need.
“This event can really make a difference in local families’ lives over the winter,” said Pat Robinson, an organizer of the event with the Keep South Berwick Warm program of the local non-profit, SoBo Central.
Donations will be accepted at the entrance to Spring Hill in a large soup pot to be used to help families get through challenging economic times.
Soups, breads, and cookies at the annual event are made by local restaurants, bakers and community members. Raffle items have been donated by residents and a South Berwick Seniors sponsor the bake sale.
Local restaurants and bakers generously providing food at the supper include: Nature’s Way Market, Pepperland Cafe, Fogarty’s Restaurant, The Catered Event, The Redbarn at Outlook Farm, The Black Bean Cafe, The Brixham General Store, Spring Hill Restaurant, King Tut’s Cider, Isidore on the Rocks, Borealis Bread and When Pigs Fly Bread. River City Jazz will provide the entertainment with acoustic jazz music.
Those who can’t make it to the supper are invited to send donations now or any time during the year to SoBo Central, c/o Fuel Fund, 46 Witchtrot Rd, South Berwick, ME 03908. All donations are tax deductible.
SoBo Central is a non-profit organization that oversees the Food Pantry, Hot Summer Nights concert series, Friends of Powderhouse Hill and Home for the Holidays, as well as Keep South Berwick Warm. Its mission is to nurture the town’s unique character by connecting and engaging citizens in community life.
The organization’s signature event, the LanternFest, has drawn thousands of people to Spring Hill in August. More information about SoBo Central is available at or on the SoBo Central facebook page.