“Grow the Greenhouse” Auction to Benefit Damaged Heirloom Tomato Farm

Coventry Regional Farmers’ Market Launches “Grow The Greenhouse” Benefit Auction for Topmost Herb Farm

Online auction opens Friday, February 25 at noon and runs through Friday, March 4.

Auction Items Include:

Learn to make maple syrup

Gift certificates from CRFM market vendors

RIPE brand mixers staffed cocktail party for 25

Attend the taping of Faith Middleton’s “Food Schmooze” show

A relaxing night’s stay at the Daniel Rust House Bed & Breakfast

Everyone needs a feel good story, about how friends and neighbors reach out to one another and harness the true power of a community.  We have one right here in our own backyard.  It’s the story of how a community came together behind the Coventry Regional Farmers’ Market to launch a “Grow The Greenhouse” Benefit Auction this Friday, February 25th for one of our own.

The month of February at Topmost Herb Farm is usually filled with anticipation and excitement, as Carole Miller begins the cultivation of her heirloom tomatoes.  As she says, “they are like my babies.”  She checks them daily, often three or four times, making sure they are warm, watered, and fed.  February of 2011 brought a very different feel to Topmost, courtesy of the heavy snow and ice.  When Carole looked out her front door, her heart sank at the sight of the center of her greenhouse buckled under the weight.  Underneath it, all the seedlings she had begun to cultivate.

Devastating.  This small farm in Coventry, known state-wide for fresh herbs and beautiful heirloom tomatoes, is hanging in the balance.  What differs for this farm from the many others in our state suffering from this winter – is the community that surrounds it.  When the Coventry Regional Farmers’ Market organizers heard, a committee that Carole is an integral part of, they jumped into action.

“Carole, simply put, has been the heart and wisdom behind the CRFM since, day one” says market coordinator Winter Caplanson.  The community responded with offers to help, and market organizers quickly arranged a work party, where more than 25 people ascended on the farm with tools, shovels, and even a back hoe.  The twisted metal and plastic that once was the greenhouse, was dismantled.

While the physical labor was needed, Carole is also faced with a hefty price tag of over $7,500 to replace the uninsured structure.  Again, the community of people who one might believe were mere strangers came together as a community, donating over 100 items for the “Grown the Greenhouse” online benefit auction.  The auction, which opens Friday, February 25 at noon and runs through Friday, March 4, boasts an amazing array of items.  Bidders can learn how to make maple syrup, get countless gift certificates from market vendors, treat themselves to a RIPE brand mixers staffed cocktail party for 25, bid on a chance to sit in on the taping of Faith Middleton’s “Food Schmooze” show, relax with a night’s stay at the Daniel Rust House Bed & Breakfast, the list goes on with opportunities to bid on items to interest anyone.   The auction site can be found at http://bit.ly/GrowTheGreenhouse

All funds raised in the auction will directly benefit Topmost Herb Farm.  More information can be found on the Coventry Regional Farmers’ Market website at http://coventryfarmersmarket.com or our Facebook page at  www.facebook.com/CoventryFarmersMarket. If you would like to make an auction donation, please contact:

Jean Nelson

(860) 209-9851


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