Harvest Fest: Growing A Classroom At Wakeman Town Farm

Since its inception just a few years ago, Wakeman Town Farm has become an important, respected — even beloved — Westport institution.

Students visit for school programs, events, tours and camps. They learn first hand what it means to grow organic produce, from seed to plate. Many volunteer, discovering a passion for animals, gardening or sustainable agriculture.

Adults take classes too, and join the WTF CSA.

Running a farm takes work — everyone knows that.

It also takes money.

Despite its name, Wakeman Town Farm is not funded by the town. Westport leases the property to WTF; directors raise money to pay for all operating costs, including animal feed and care, maintenance and snow plowing.

The Wakeman Farm.

The Wakeman Farm.

Now they’re soliciting capital for a bigger project. WTF hopes to build a year-round classroom and kitchen. That’s the key to becoming a self-sustaining entity, operating 12 months a year with cooking classes, films, book signings, intimate chef’s dinners, community meetings and homesteading workshops.

The current classroom lacks insulation, severely limiting program options. For instance, this year 80 mothers flocked to the first “Mommy and Me” sessions. Despite its appeal, the program could not continue during colder months.

WTF’s annual fundraiser is Saturday, September 12 (6 p.m., at the farm). “Harvest Fest” includes live music; seasonal menus created by local chefs using artisinal cheeses, produce and meats sourced from small Connecticut farmers; signature drinks and wine pairings, and a fantastic auction offering unique experiences in dining and travel (like a 3-night Rome trip with a special Vatican visit, and a luxury suite at the Barclay’s Center with food and drinks for a party of 24).

How you gonna keep Westport’s kids (and adults) down on the farm?

You can start by heading to Saturday’s Harvest Fest.

(Click here for Harvest Fest tickets — or if you can’t attend, to donate to Wakeman Town Farm.)

Scenes from last year's Harvest Fest.

Scenes from last year’s Harvest Fest.

2 responses to “Harvest Fest: Growing A Classroom At Wakeman Town Farm

  1. Harvest Fest is a magical evening and so much fun! This year’s event looks like it’s going to be the best ever. Come on, come all! Hope to see you down on the farm!

  2. It’s a great event, with fantastic food and wine. It sells out quickly, so don’t delay!