May Festival of Local Food, Farms & Gardens

Sat., May 7, 2011 from 10:00 am ~ 2:00 pm.

Haston Free Public Library, North Brookfield

Click here for registration form.

 Last spring the Haston Free Public Library presented a town-wide reading program entitled, “READ! GROW! EAT!  North Brookfield Reads Together”, a Celebration of Local Food, Farms and Gardens.  This program was made possible through a grant to the Haston Free Public Library, which received federal funds provided by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) and administered by the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners (MBLC).  The two-month-long series of community events included guest speakers, workshops, films, field trips, and more, and culminated with the May Day Festival on Saturday, May 1st, 2010. 

Our goal was to raise awareness of the wonderful agricultural, food craft, and horticultural resources in our area and to support their success.  The READ! GROW! EAT! series was very well received and the response to the May Day Festival far exceeded our expectations.  Exhibitors had space inside the library as well as on the lawns of the library and the Congregational Church just across North Main Street.  Sales of plants and flowers, maple syrup, soaps, and other items were brisk.  We offered door prizes, donated by participants, which also attracted visitors.  The North Brookfield Cultural Council conducted its annual Plant Swap and local musicians entertained the many visitors who stopped by.

We’d like to make the festival an annual event to be held prior to Mothers’ Day.  This year May 7th is the day before Mothers’ Day.  We’re inviting Local Farmers, CSA’s, Nurseries, Wineries, Restaurants, Food Crafters, Grocers, and Open Space Preservers to participate in whatever way works best for you—

  • by setting up a display to promote your business, organization, or services and to let people know how they can take advantage of your offerings, e.g. sign up for a CSA, w/ you or a representative there
  • providing information materials for people to pick up, if you can’t be present
  • selling products and/or services
  • offering samples and/or giving away coupons for future use
  • giving a short talk, presentation, or demonstration
  • or any other way you’d like to participate that we haven’t thought of!
  • donating a door prize

This family-oriented festival will be well-publicized and, in light of the winter we’re experiencing, we feel confident that it will attract many visitors at the beginning of the growing season.  Participants will set up inside or outside the Library, which is right on North Main Street.  There will also be a Free Plant Swap and Composting Demo in front of the library, along with representatives from local nurseries, attracting the attention of passersby.  Inside, there will be Seed Planting & Pot Painting for Kids from 10:00 to 2:00.  And once again we will offer door prizes donated by participants.

Among last year’s participants were B & B Farms, Many Hands Organic Farm, Warren Farm, Brookfield Orchards, Hanson’s Dairy, Overlook Farm/Heifer International, East Quabbin Land Trust, North Brookfield Conservation Commission, Tip Top Natural Foods, and Hannaford Supermarket.

The library’s website ( northbrookfieldlibrary.org ) will list all participants, with more details and links.

We look forward to your participation in our May Festival.  If you have questions please contact Ellen Smith, smithe_01535@yahoo.com (508-867-8935) or Harbour Fraser Hodder, harbourfh@gmail.com (508-867-5028).