Tag Archives: Westport Green Village Initiative

Breaking News — GVI Returns Wakeman Farm To The Town

Green Village Initiative and the Town of Westport just released this news.  “06880” will report further news as it becomes available. 

The board of directors of the local nonprofit Green Village Initiative and the office of the Westport Selectman announced today that GVI will end its lease of the Wakeman Town Farm & Sustainability Center.  “The farm and its improvements” will be returned to the town.

Over the past 2 years, the press release says, GVI has invested over $150,000 in the farm.  It has also arranged “in-kind donations from local businesses and (organized) thousands of volunteer hours between the GVI team, Staples interns and Builders Beyond Borders students.”

“We are grateful to GVI for its wonderful generosity in gifting the improvements and for the work it has done to restore the property to a working farm,” said First Selectman Gordon Joseloff.

“Through the application of funds and volunteers, and with the support of literally hundreds of families and local businesses, GVI in two years transformed the Farm into a new historical, refurbished facility that benefits the entire town.”

Added Selectwoman Shelly Kassen, “GVI has never wavered from its commitment to this community.  They are a gem that we can all be proud of.”

Three former GVI board members will continue providing support to the farm by assisting the town with its management.

GVI’s remaining 19 board members will “resume the work of carrying out the group’s mission.”

GVI chairman Dan Levinson said, “we at GVI have decided that the town is the best steward for this project long-term while we dedicate our efforts to other community-building and environmental projects in Westport and surrounding towns.  This outcome is best for the community, best for the farm, and best for GVI.”

Peter Wormser and Liz Milwe — GVI board members who left the board in the controversial decision not to renew the contract of “town farmer” Mike Aitkenhead — will stay active with the farm.

The couple said, “we think this is a great gift that should work extremely well long-term for the farm and the town.  It also works to keep the community and especially the kids involved with the future of The Farm.  GVI’s gift to the Town will be appreciated for generations to come.”

Over the past year, the press release said, the farm “has been managed by Mike and Carrie Aitkenhead, who are departing The Farm.”

The release added:

“The Aitkenheads were a great couple for The Farm and GVI is forever grateful for their hard work and enthusiasm and their good accomplishments at Wakeman’s,” said GVI board member Sal Gilbertie.

“They leave with our sincerest thanks and very best wishes for their continued success and good example to the Westport community.”

Raising Funds Down On The Farm

Since 2009 Wakeman Town Farm has been leased from the town.  The farmhouse has been renovated; a Community Supported Agriculture program is thriving; vegetable and herb beds, chicken coops, rabbit hutches and picnic tables have been built, and a harvest planted.

It’s all happened in just 9 months — the amount of time it takes to grow a baby.

But — like a baby — it takes money to raise a farm.

The planting is done. Time now for a Wakeman Farm Harvest Fest.

Green Village Initiative‘s 1st official fundraiser — called Harvest Fest — is set for this Saturday (Oct. 2), from 6:30-9 p.m. at Wakeman Town Farm on Cross Highway.

Mixing organic demonstration homestead with suburban chic, the event is a casual, fun evening under a tent — with cocktails, local fare, live music and a silent auction.

Here’s a taste of what’s in store:

  • Pizza from Skinny Pines, sliders from Bobby Q’s, dumplings from Chef’s Table, veggie kabobs from Sugar and Olives, treats from Galaxy Cookies, Chillwiches from Four Flours.
  • Wines from local and organic vineyards and Southport Brewery will be on tap.
  • Music by Westport recording artist Laura Meyers.

The silent auction includes:

  • A cooking lesson for 6 by Pietro Scotti of Da Pietro’s, followed by dinner prepared by chef Scotti.
  • A spectacular 32-square foot herb garden, assembled and planted, donated by Sal Gilbertie.
  • Gift certificates to The Dressing Room and Le Farm.
  • A cooking lesson and dinner for 8, with healthy local ingredients, donated by Alison Milwe Grace, owner of AMG Catering and Events.
  • Dinner for 8 at Sport Hill Farm.
  • 1 adult and 1 child’s bicycle from BMW of Darien.
  • And lots more!

Enjoy the Harvest Fest.  Overalls are optional.

(Tickets are $100 per person.  All donations benefit the farm, and enable GVI to continue to support local environmental and community change.  To order tickets, click here or call 203-227-5320.)


Who says environmentalists don’t have senses of humor?

The “WTF” in the shirts modeled above (by Sanders McNair, Petey Menz and Catherine Coughlin) supposedly refers to “Wakeman Town Farm.”  On the back is a reminder of the October 2 Harvest Fest, which — like the shirts — is sponsored by Green Village Initiative.

But plenty of young people will laugh when they see the shirts.

“WTF” is a double entendre.  If you don’t know what it stands for — ask a kid.

(“WTF” T-shirts, tank tops and caps are available for $10 each, at the Town Farm on Cross Highway, the Farmers’ Market and on Main Street this summer.  Proceeds benefit GVI and the Harvest Fest.  For more information contact Lisa Marriott:  lsmarriott@gmail.com.)

EcoFest: The Sequel

Last year’s inaugural EcoFest was a smash.

Lured by great weather, good music and plenty of food — and the warm feeling of learning how to do right by Mother Earth — an unexpectedly large crowd gathered at Levitt Pavilion for an afternoon of environmentally correct fun.

Information, and reusable water bottles, at EcoFest 2009.

The 2nd annual EcoFest is set for this Saturday, again at the Levitt.  The sponsors — Staples’ Club Green and Westport’s Green Village Initiative — have gathered over 30 exhibitors — and added a few twists.

Once again there’s free (!) food — but this time Bobby Q’s will serve pork raised by local farms, and Skinny Pines Pizza‘s offerings will be all local and organic (with fully biodegradable tableware, cutlery and cups made from plants).

If you bring your own water bottle, the drinks are free.

The 12:30-2:30 time slot is geared specifically to youngsters and their families, with plenty of kids’ activities.

The music kicks off at around 2:30 — that’s when the high school and college crowds are expected.

The surprise hit last year was Staples student Glenn Friedman’s circus bus, which he’d converted to run on waste vegetable oil.

No word yet on what this Saturday’s EcoFest will unveil.

But there’s always something new under the sun.