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 College of the Atlantic (COA) student Adam Burke, 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. Adam donated some extra seeds from planting his own garden, weeded, and harvested produce. Open Table MDI produced its own food for the first time in this successful garden!
In Winter 2022, Open Table MDI asked the Bar Harbor Garden Club (BHGC) to help increase production and expand this garden for the Summer of 2022. Open Table MDI is partnering with the BHGC to shape the 2,100 square foot garden into raised beds and establish 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. The BHGC is funding seeds and other supplies, as well as a part-time intern. Additionally, BHGC is encouraging its members to volunteer to help maintain the garden by weeding, watering, and helping to harvest the produce. Additional funding for this project is being provided by The Onion Foundation.
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 4,000 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 the MDI Food Access Project from 25 to 30% in 2022
To harness BHGC members’ gardening expertise and enthusiasm to help alleviate hunger and improve food security on MDI
To develop a strong partnership between BHGC and Open Table MDI