Friday 04.28.2017

Seton Harvest Welcomes Growing Season with Mass, Blessing

Those attending the April 24 Mass and blessing that formally opened the eleventh season of the Daughters of Charity Seton Harvest community-sponsored agricultural initiative had a chance to sample strawberries picked that morning. They were sweet, firm, and delicious–tasty and hopeful signs of the growing season to come.

After offering Mass in the chapel at Seton Residence of Evansville’s West Side, Vincentian Father Stephen Gallegos, Seton Residence Chaplain, joined attendees for a quick trip across New Harmony Road to the farm where he blessed the fields and the new Seton Harvest Veggie Van.

The Veggie Van (pictured to the left) will travel throughout the Evansville area this spring and summer to encourage healthy eating and share recipes and fresh produce. The Daughters donated the passenger van before a local individual modified it for Seton Harvest. The van will bring more fresh, naturally grown produce and education to the community through farmers markers and schools, and by enabling Seton Harvest to provide cooking demonstrations for those entities that receive its fresh produce donations.

Sharing fresh produce is nothing new to Seton Harvest, which is sponsored by the Daughters of Charity, Province of St. Louise. Over the past 10 years, it has donated approximately 103,000 pounds of produce to families living in poverty.

As a community-sponsored agriculture initiative, Seton Harvest divides up all of the produce it does not donate throughout the growing season among a committed group of supporters who share the risks and benefits of farming with the farmer.

These shareholders are community members who pay the farmer an annual membership fee to cover the production costs of the farm. In turn, shareholders receive a weekly “share” of the harvest, which is generally enough for a family of four.

Seton Harvest┬áharvested more than 45,400 pounds of produce in 2016 and donated more than 9,400 pounds of it to those in need. Seton Harvest plans to use the Veggie Van as a pick-up for shareholders who live on Evansville’s East Side, Newburgh, Lynnville, and Boonville. That pick-up will be at St. Vincent’s Epworth Crossing.

Seton Harvest will hold Twilight Farm-to-Table Dinners at the facility on May 13, June 10, and October 14. All proceeds from the dinners go directly toward the farm’s weekly donation of fresh produce to the food pantry systems and homeless shelters in the area.

Article originally published in The Message Online.