In the Summer of 2021, Open Table MDI’s Food Access Project hired its first summer intern, funded by the Stephen and Tabitha King Foundation. The intern was a College of the Atlantic (COA) student who had both culinary and gardening experience. Unexpectedly and simultaneously, COA adjunct faculty member Blake Cass donated a 30 by 70-foot plot on his property in Tremont for a pilot garden to share with Open Table MDI. Blake paid for and planted most of the garden, and our intern watered, weeded, and harvested produce. Open Table MDI produced its own food for the first time in this successful garden!
In the Winter of 2022, Open Table MDI and the Bar Harbor Garden Club (BHGC) formed a partnership to help increase production and expand this garden by shaping the 2,100 square-foot garden into raised beds and establishing new garden space out of Cass’s lawn to supply organic produce for our weekly Community Supper and the weekly MDI Food Access Project food boxes. This year, the BHGC is funding seeds, compost, and other supplies, as well as a portion of the garden manager’s salary. Additionally, the BHGC is encouraging its members to volunteer to help maintain the garden by weeding, watering, and helping to harvest the produce. An intern for 2023 is being generously provided by College of the Atlantic.
The vegetable garden consists of 12, 4.5’x30′ raised beds, with two to three crop successions per bed. The planting work has begun and the garden will be maintained for 24 weeks until the end of the growing season.
To produce roughly 2,500 pounds of organic vegetables and herbs to complement what will be available through gleaning or through other local farms
To increase the volume of fresh produce given out through the Bar Harbor Community Supper and a mobile farm stand from 25 to 30% in 2023
To harness BHGC members’ gardening expertise and enthusiasm to help alleviate hunger and improve food security on MDI
To continue developing a strong partnership between BHGC and Open Table MDI