Cool things are happening in Philly next week, among them the Heritage Farm Fare, a celebration of food, nutrition and community. If you’ve never heard of Heritage Farm, you’re not alone; it was only recently that I discovered this wonderful farm, tucked into the campus of Methodist Home for Children, a former orphanage that’s evolved into a hub for community activities and outreach.
As a year-round organic farm, Heritage is able to impact families by providing fresh, seasonal produce—three acres full. Children are able to walk around the farm, and meander up and down rows of vegetables, herbs, flowers and fruit, and temporarily forget about concrete buildings, convenience stores and fast food.
Workshops focus on food preparation, nutrition and sustainable, urban farming, and families are encouraged to dig in all with their hands and their taste buds. The bonus, is agricultural training, as well as critical thinking, planning, time (and occasionally, crisis) management, and problem solving. Learning how to resuscitate a dehydrated plant, rid a crop of pesky insects, irrigate during a drought and other on-the-farm issues, offer children unique opportunities from those experienced at school or on the playground. And though we all promote teamwork within our children, working side by side in what for the moment, IS a life or death (of plants/crops) situation, strengthens relationships and leadership skills.
This “bumper crop” of benefits for our community’s youth, is the best reason to come out and join the celebration. Saying, “Yes” to an invitation came easy for me; food and kids in one place is a win-win in my book, especially as mine are maturing way too fast. Events such as this, that unite families through the bounty of Mother Nature and an appreciation for the magic of a fresh-plucked tomato, carrot, blue/raspberry or handful of lettuce and fresh herbs, offer a special type of bonding, different from socializing over drinks or at a ball game.
By now you’re wondering what’s on the menu. As you can see from this collection of logos, this is no sandwiches and chips affair (though I wouldn’t object to that), with adventurous preparations both on the plate and in the glass. You’ll see a lot of familiar chefs, all who have actively been supporting Heritage and other farms in our region for a number of years. The side dish, if you will, is a pot full of donated funds designated to help offset the costs of operating the farm. This, of course, being the cost of your ticket. Providing the evening’s soundtrack, is Doc Gibbs, former band leader on the Emeril Lagasse show.
All of the details are on the website, including location—Belmont Mansion Lawn—and those seeking additional information can contact Christine Moore at (215) 877-1925 ext.104 or firstname.lastname@example.org. And, don’t forget to follow along on Twitter and Facebook for updates.
Heritage Farm at Methodist Home for Children is located at 4300 Monument Road, Philadelphia PA 19131
Photos courtesy of Nina Lea Photography