‘Hard work, heart work’

Free Harvest Dinner on Court Square feeds hundreds

  • Volunteer Mary Rose hands out tomatoes, one of the appetizers for those waiting in line at the Free Harvest Supper on Court Square Sunday. Staff photo/Melina Bourdeau

  • The Free Harvest Dinner has been serving local people for 13 years. Staff photo/Melina Bourdeau

  • The Free Harvest Supper on Greenfield’s Court Square served locally grown foods prepared by local chefs in churches and restaurants alike on Sunday. Staff photo/Melina Bourdeau

  • Tex LaMountain carries out two plates of food at the Free Harvest Dinner on Greenfield’s Court Square on Sunday. Staff photo/Melina Bourdeau

  • Julie Carew and her two children Eliza Carew and Hendrick Carew said they were excited to try the locally grown food served at the Free Harvest Supper on the Greenfield’s Court Square on Sunday. Staff photo/Melina Bourdeau

  • Brian McCue and John Bailey eat together at the Free Harvest Supper on the Court Square on Sunday. Staff photo/Melina Bourdeau

  • Sunny Miller, an artist who brought a life-sized painting of Juanita Nelson, said she wants to do a mural in Nelson’s honor on the side of the Hawks and Reed building. Nelson helped to create the Free Harvest Supper on Greenfield’s Court Square.  Staff photo/Melina Bourdeau

Staff Writer
Published: 8/26/2018 9:00:15 PM

GREENFIELD — “Every ingredient counts, including you,” said Free Harvest Supper organizer Kirsten Levitt as she presided over the open air community meal on Court Square on Sunday. “I am humble and grateful and lucky to live in a happy valley where people are so kind.”

Levitt said that at the Stone Soup Cafe, where she is executive chef, they normally serve a small number of diners, compared to the crowds that show up for the annual Harvest Supper.

This year marks the 13th year of the Harvest Supper, and a line of people wrapped around the Common, waiting to eat the locally grown and cooked food.

“Today, we cooked for 1,000, so it’s like we are on steroids,” Levitt said.

This year’s dinner was affected by the summer’s heavy rain, which has damaged some crops, but local farmers still donated the food they could, according to Levitt.

There were 16 dishes available, including vegan and gluten-free options. The meal began at 4:30 p.m., with appetizers for people waiting in line.

“This year we couldn’t have a blueberry wheatberry salad, because the wheatberries weren’t harvested,” Levitt said. “But every farmer we asked said ‘yes, they would donate’.”

Volunteers John Bailey and Brian McCue said they were enjoying the fruits of their labors after volunteering all morning.

“It’s a lot of labor that’s donated for this,” Bailey said.

“I was so impressed last year by the dinner that I decided to come volunteer this year,” said McCue.

This year, there was also a dance after the dinner. People sat at tables lining Court Square to eat and listen to live music.

“Even though it’s a big cliche, I have said for seven years, it’s hard work, but it’s heart work,” Levitt said. “I love playing with food and I love feeding people.”


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