Dear Howell Farm Friend,
We feel very fortunate that until this year, there was never a time in the farm’s 37 years of public operation when we had to cancel programs for reasons other than weather. When the COVID-19 emergency forced us to do that in March, we had no idea how long the closure would last, or if it would affect our ability to grow the corn, oats, wheat and other crops needed for our animals, programs and community outreach.
We feel even more fortunate that since then, we’ve been able to continue farming. For the past three months, we’ve geared our production to help food pantries acquire flour, oatmeal, eggs, and other items for distribution to those in need. The story was covered in a NJ.COM story back in April but the work continues and is the focus of special tours that are being offered this week and through mid-July.
You can join us for one of them by using the Community Pass link on the farm’s website, where you can reserve a “Share the Harvest” tour for up to 6 people. The tours are free and take you the fields and gardens where you’ll see our farmers hard at work growing crops for donation to area food banks, food pantries and soup kitchens. So far, we’ve been able to donate more than 3 tons of crops to needy organizations, with much more on the way.
The tours take about an hour to complete and feature an interactive map with a crop-themed crossword puzzle, an Instagram photo contest, and a match game that challenges youngsters to identify and learn about vegetables grown in the farm’s market garden. Upon completing the tour, participants receive a bag of the farm’s whole wheat flour and a recipe card to take home. If you join us for a tour, you’ll find that our picnic facilities and a few other areas of the farm are still closed. These will reopen when we begin to offer regular hours and programs later this summer.
We hope you’ll support our effort to share the farm’s crops – and its mission – with the community by joining us for a Share the Harvest tour. Our greatest hope is that you and your family are healthy and in good spirits, and that we’ll see you very soon.
The Howell Farm Farmers