Share the Harvest Farm: Fill Your Market Basket With Veggies and Love - 27 East

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Share the Harvest Farm: Fill Your Market Basket With Veggies and Love

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End of season picnic at Share the Harvest Farm. COURTESY SHARE THE HARVEST FARM

End of season picnic at Share the Harvest Farm. COURTESY SHARE THE HARVEST FARM

Farm stand at Share the Harvest Farm. COURTESY SHARE THE HARVEST FARM

Farm stand at Share the Harvest Farm. COURTESY SHARE THE HARVEST FARM

Farm stand at Share the Harvest Farm. COURTESY SHARE THE HARVEST FARM

Farm stand at Share the Harvest Farm. COURTESY SHARE THE HARVEST FARM

The greenhouse at Share the Harvest Farm. COURTESY SHARE THE HARVEST FARM

The greenhouse at Share the Harvest Farm. COURTESY SHARE THE HARVEST FARM

Working the tractor at Share the Harvest Farm. COURTESY SHARE THE HARVEST FARM

Working the tractor at Share the Harvest Farm. COURTESY SHARE THE HARVEST FARM

Squash on the farm. COURTESY SHARE THE HARVEST FARM

Squash on the farm. COURTESY SHARE THE HARVEST FARM

Sunset over the farm stand. COURTESY SHARE THE HARVEST FARM

Sunset over the farm stand. COURTESY SHARE THE HARVEST FARM

Vegetables at Share the Harvest Farm. COURTESY SHARE THE HARVEST FARM

Vegetables at Share the Harvest Farm. COURTESY SHARE THE HARVEST FARM

Carmen Quintano, a member of the farm field crew, delivering fresh picked kale to the Share The Harvest farm stand. COURTESY SHARE THE HARVEST FARM

Carmen Quintano, a member of the farm field crew, delivering fresh picked kale to the Share The Harvest farm stand. COURTESY SHARE THE HARVEST FARM

Carmen Quintano, a member of the farm field crew, working on the farm. COURTESY SHARE THE HARVEST FARM

Carmen Quintano, a member of the farm field crew, working on the farm. COURTESY SHARE THE HARVEST FARM

Vegetables at Share the Harvest Farm. COURTESY SHARE THE HARVEST FARM

Vegetables at Share the Harvest Farm. COURTESY SHARE THE HARVEST FARM

authorStacy Dermont on Apr 22, 2024

On Saturday, April 27, Share the Harvest Farm will host a farmers market with over 20 vendors at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in East Hampton. Vendors will donate 10 percent of their sales to Share the Harvest to support its mission of feeding hungry residents of the East End.

Share the Harvest Farm in East Hampton was founded in 2010 as Food Pantry Farm. The mission was to use half an acre of rich local soil at East End Community Organic Farm (EECO Farm) on Long Lane to grow fresh, delicious produce for local food pantries. That mission quickly expanded to providing food and educational programs to The Retreat domestic violence shelter, the Project Most afterschool program, the Eleanor Whitmore Early Childhood Center, and the Whalebone Village affordable housing complex. Food Pantry Farm expanded to six acres, added a sizable greenhouse and its name is now Share the Harvest Farm. The farm raises and donates over 100 tons of produce annually.

Share the Harvest also took over operation of the Long Lane farm stand adjacent to EECO Farm, which they open to the public from mid-May through mid-October to raise funds.

The organization’s stated mission “is to grow highly nutritious and organic produce for donation to local food pantries and other charitable organizations, to increase food access for all in need and to raise awareness about food insecurity on the East End.”

According to a 2021 New York Department of Health report, 23.1 percent of Suffolk County residents are food insecure. They’re worried about where their next nutritious meal will come from. In Nassau County the percentage was 21.1.

Donations are critical to Share the Harvest, but why are they also adding a farmers market at St. Luke’s?

“Our decision to host a market now is deeply rooted in our commitment to uplift and support the local artisans we partner with at Share the Harvest Farm Stand,” explained Meredith Arm, Share the Harvest’s creative director. “We’re proud to carry products from over 60 local vendors, including an array of makers, bakers and farmers. These partnerships enrich our offerings and foster a vibrant community of local entrepreneurs.”

That’s right, over 60 local vendors are represented in the compact Share the Harvest Farm Stand on Long Lane.

“Our relationship with our vendors is particularly meaningful to us; many significantly contributed to our Summer Fundraising Festival last August, with acts of generosity such as Terry’s Pizza bringing his oven to the fest and making gourmet pizzas featuring toppings harvested from the farm,” Arm says.

What’s more exciting and fun than a one-off farmers market? A regular farmers market.

“The lack of a winter farmers market in East Hampton — given the nearest one is over an hour away — has also revealed a critical need,” Arm added. “Both our vendors and the local community could benefit from a market during the colder months.

“Originally, I thought of the market as a one-time event,” Arm continued. “I’m inspired by the strong positive feedback and demand for an indoor, off-season market. During an early conversation with parish administrator Tara Brinka at St. Luke’s, Tara surprised me by suggesting the market could run weekly from October through May. This has led us to consider making the market a regular feature, potentially once or twice a month in the off season, depending on how much support it gets from the community.”

Vendors at this inaugural market on April 27 will include Share the Harvest Farm itself plus Aki’s Kitchen hot soups, juices and more; Hamptons Handpoured candles; Hamptons Preserves; Jon’s Gourmet Mushrooms; Malbec Empanadas; Marilena’s Sourdough Crackers; Montauk Smoked Fish; Newlight Breadworks; Ocean Fog Farm flowers such as tulips and ranunculus; Simply Savory Rice Balls; Springs Salt; Superfood City gluten-free treats; SweetHampton Cakery; and Two Sisters Nuts and Seeds.

All of these vendors also sell to the Share the Harvest Farm Stand. The April 27 market will additionally feature jewelry designers and their wares.

Aki Goldberg of Aki’s Kitchen serves on the Share the Harvest advisory board.

“Aki makes us some special dishes called ‘Aki's Kitchen for Share the Harvest Farm,’” Arm said.

“People need food!” emphasized Goldberg, whose special label for Share the Harvest is hyper-seasonal and caters to the farm stand clientele’s tastes. “I’m so excited for this market. I look forward to meeting locals I haven’t met before and to being there with Meredith, STH staff, the other vendors.

“You see a lot of the same things at the farmers markets, but not this one,” she added. “It’s a very different group — it will be special.”

“While it may be the offseason for sales, it’s our biggest time to be investing in seeds, tubers and more for the upcoming season,” said May Zegarelli of Ocean Fog Farm, who also serves on the Share the Harvest’s advisory board. “A year-round market gives farms the opportunity to sell during the winter, which is when they need the money the most for their farms. At Ocean Fog Farm, we keep many staff members on payroll during the off-season, so they can have a year-round salary. It’s important to invest in staff and our business as well.”

Soon after the April 27 market, Meredith Arm and a crew of staff and volunteers will get to work cleaning off and sprucing up the Share the Harvest Farm Stand for reopening on Thursday, May 16. Located at 55 Long Lane in East Hampton, the stand will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Thursdays through Sundays. It is widely regarded as one of the East End’s most beautiful stands. (It’s featured in an online Elie Tahari ad).

Most of what Share the Harvest grows is given away, and the rest is sold at the farmstand alongside other fresh veggies, herbs and shelf-stable products. Arm also oversees the farmstand operation.

“I’m excited about the new produce varieties we’re growing at our farm for the stand this year,” she said. “We’re introducing an assortment of vibrant heirloom cherry tomatoes, including Purple Bumble Bee, Black Cherry, and Indigo Kumquat, as well as exquisite eggplants like Rosa Bianca. We’re enhancing our selection of flowers for bouquets under the expert guidance of Zegarelli.”

Farmer Nicole Petti sells her Urban Coyote Farms microgreens to the Share the Harvest Farm Stand.

“I love working with Share the Harvest Farm,” Petti said. “Not only is their mission exceptional, their farm stand helps me reach folks on the South Fork with my nutritious and radiant, double-washed microgreens. I’m really looking forward to stocking them again this season.”

Things are also very busy on the farm itself with planting season underway. The Share the Harvest greenhouse provides lettuces, radishes and more to the needy year-round. Staffer Carmita Quintuña uses products from the farm to make nutritious soups, which are donated to local pantries and other nonprofits.

As Share the Harvest Farm enters its 15th season dedicated to fighting food insecurity on the East End, Arm’s hopes for the nonprofit are diverse and ambitious.

“Despite donating more than 80 percent of our harvest to key community partners like the Springs and Sag Harbor Food Pantries, Heart of the Hamptons and the Children's Museum of the East End, we’ve noticed our efforts aren’t as widely recognized as they could be,” Arm said.

Support from our community keeps Share the Harvest going, and growing, strong.

“Our events play a critical role in, not just broadening awareness of our mission, but also in securing the support needed to both sustain and expand our efforts,” Arm said. “I envision these gatherings as opportunities to celebrate our incredible local vendors and strengthen community ties, and to highlight the essential role of Share the Harvest Farm in combating food insecurity.”

To that end, she encourages more people and organizations to support the cause and to join Share The Harvest in making a difference. Do that simply by shopping this Saturday at the farmers market at St. Luke’s Church, and throughout the summer.

“Ultimately, we strive to ensure that every member of our East End community has access to fresh, nutritious produce,” Arm said.

Share the Harvest Farm’s indoor spring market is Saturday, April 27, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, 18 James Place, East Hampton. For more information, visit sharetheharvestfarm.org.

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