-SHARE PRODUCE FROM
Anyone can pick out fresh vegetables from the Dig In! community garden at the harvest table events. Many of the featured recipes are based on traditional Appalachian recipes. An inspiration for many of these dishes is the cookbook, Victuals, by Ronni Lundy.
Dig In! Harvest Table
Tucked away in the mountains of Yancey County is Dig In!’s community garden. This garden provides fresh fruits and vegetables to hunger-relief agencies and food-insecure families in Yancey County.
In addition to growing and harvesting produce, Dig In! partners with local agencies to host “harvest tables” in four different neighborhoods. There is a long-standing tradition in Yancey County to share food, recipes, and tips with neighbors. Harvest tables keep this tradition alive by creating common spaces for participants to share, swap, and try fresh produce. On designated days, Dig In! sets up tables and tents in a high traffic area, like the health department or community college campus parking lot, and hosts a harvest table. Dig In! distributes extra produce from their garden and prepares a dish featuring harvested veggies for visitors to sample. Any guests can bring extra produce they have grown, preserved, or cooked to share with others. This creates a safe, open place to experience new foods, cultures, and cooking techniques with people one might not have had the chance to meet.
Harvest tables are meant to build community and let people share resources. They are not a farmer’s market replacement, but could be a great addition to your local curb market. Nothing brings people together like food, and a harvest table could be a great one-time event or a brand new long-lasting program for your organization to adopt.
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You don’t have to have a community garden to host a harvest table. All you need is a few extra fruits or veggies to kick off your event, a public space, and to spread the word. Dig In! hosts their harvest table a couple of times a month in various locations to make sure it’s accessible to all parts of the County.
Consider the size of your audience before setting the number of days you want to host a harvest table. If it’s a small neighborhood or town, you might only host one or two events a month. Advertise to ensure people understand harvest tables are sharing events. People are encouraged to bring any extra produce and to take what they need. It’s not only a chance to increase access of fresh fruits and vegetables, but a chance to meet new people and build community. Parking lots, libraries, community centers and health departments are great locations to host your first harvest table.