Seeking Volunteers for Fall Harvest Festival Prep

I’m forwarding a message I received regarding the Harvest Festival:
“We are currently looking for volunteers to help with:
• fall clean up at training farms throughout September (Fridays only)
• the 7th Annual Fall Harvest Festival, to be held on Sunday September 28th (see attached flyer). We are ramping up the event this year with live music from Eric Royer’s One Man Band, hayrides, pumpkin picking, games, and lots of delicious food!
Much of the activity will take place in Dracut, MA – see below for the types of tasks we could use assistance with. Please email if you’re interested.
Fall Clean Up
If you need a break from the city life then come spend a day with the New Entry Sustainable Farming Project at our training farm sites in Dracut, MA. Volunteer activities include:

  1. Locating and reclaiming historic rock walls. The farm fields of New England are surrounded by rock walls that were built at the turn of the century. Due to years of neglect the walls are now covered in brush, fallen over, over grown, or hidden from view. We will rebuild the walls by restacking the stones that have fallen down.
  2. Clearing brush along the edge of the farm fields in order to expand the fields. Over the past few years brambles and sumac bushes have popped up along the edge of the fields. There is room for the NESFP to expand production if we reclaim this valuable space at the edge of our fields. We will cut down the brush to enable farmers to be able to till the ground and plant seeds for crop production or grass strips for harvest lanes. We have several BCS push tractors with rotary mowers, sickle bar mowers, and rototillers that we will use to expand the fields. Bring your loppers, saws, or pruning shears!
  3. Gathering and disposing of trash that has collected on the farm. If you think your basement collects junk, then wait until you see what happens at a commercial farm site! Although we try to keep the farm clean year round there is always one more bag of trash to be picked up. Help us pick up all the trash before planting season commences.

Volunteers needed:
Project Leaders and Energetic Volunteers to assist with the activities listed above.
Drinks and light snacks will be provided. Please bring plenty of water and packed lunch.
Note: Due to the nature of the work volunteers should wear long pants and work boots or sneakers. Everyone should dress for the weather (sun block, hat, rain gear, warm clothes) and should bring a pair of work gloves. There is poison ivy at the farm site – if you are allergic, please dress appropriately or use proper precautions (Ivy Block, long pants / sleeves, gloves, use Technu after exposure, etc.).
Fall Harvest Festival
Sunday, September 28, 2008 1 – 4 pm
Pre-Event Needs – Donations Needed & General Promotion
We would appreciate the help of a few willing individuals who could help us solicit donations for several components of the event:
  1. Food: we want to feature local area restaurants who would be willing to donate a dish or two for the event as part of our “food tasting.” It could be appetizers, a main dish, dessert, etc. and we would be happy to showcase and promote their business as a “local hero” who believes in supporting local agriculture. A great advertising opportunity for local restaurants. We are also trying to secure a chef for a cooking demonstration. Any leads and making the contacts and connections for us are helpful.
  2. Teacup Raffle: we would like to have a variety of items to be donated toward our teacup raffle. A teacup raffle is a series of items that are displayed on a table with small paper bags in front of the item. We’ll be selling raffle tickets throughout the event and folks drop their ticket in the bag of the item they’d like to win. We will select the “winners” at 3pm. We’d love to have a nice diversity of items available on the table. In the past we’ve had things like bottles of local wine, homemade canned goods, cookbooks (Asparagus to Zucchini), jars of honey, etc. So, any and all items local businesses could donate are welcome – large or small.
  3. General Donations or Sponsorships – if anyone is interested in underwriting or helping to sponsor the event, we’d also be happy to advertise their support on a large display board at the entrance and during announcements at the event.
  4. Promotion – posting flyers in your favorite locations where potential attendees would see it: libraries, coffee shops, bookstores, etc. (see attached flyer – let us know if you need color copies to post).

We will also be looking for volunteers to assist us with:
• collecting food and teacup raffle donations for delivery to site day of event; then organizing food and raffle tables – noting sponsors and donors
• putting together sponsorship and donor recognition materials
• parking day of event
• set up and tear down / clean up (day of event)
• sales of raffle tickets (day of event)
• face painting for kids (someone with some artistic talent)
• assistance with pumpkin painting (someone to organize kids so they don’t use up/spill all paint!)
• help with Farmers’ Market on site (we’ll be selling produce from various farmers)
• organize games (ring/duck toss, bobbing for apples, sack race, bean toss, rope pull, egg toss, etc.)

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