Broken Palate Readers Have Made an Impact
A farm in Maine that exists to feed its community raised over $90,000 with the help of Broken Palate readers
The tiny farm is run by Erica Berman and her husband, Alain Ollier. The duo lived in Paris for two decades, where Berman ran a luxury rental company, but somehow something was missing in their lives.
They moved to Maine and started growing organic produce and flowers. Instead of selling their bounty, they decided to donate it to people in need.
When I spoke with Erica Berman, she told me that one in seven adults and one in five children in Maine don’t have enough to eat. The goal of Veggies to Table, she said, was to, “restore the dignity of people in our community in Maine.”
Farming is expensive and requires plenty of people to help in the task of growing, nurturing, and harvesting crops. And, with little income generated, the farm holds an annual sweepstakes to raise funds, with entrants donating money for the chance to stay in a beautiful Paris apartment for a week, among other prizes.
Several Broken Palate readers reached out to say they enjoyed the story. More than that, you, dear readers, took action and helped Veggies to Table in its fundraising efforts.
Just today, I received an email from Berman, which said: “Your generous help spreading the news of our second annual Paris Sweepstakes in Broken Palate has helped us make a meaningful impact. We raised over $90,000—over $3,825 through donors who came to us directly from you. These funds will be used to help feed children and families who do not have healthy food to put on their tables.”
Berman then shared what that means for the farm and the community it serves. “The impact of your support resonates far beyond our sweepstakes, reaching the very heart of our community. In just five seasons, we have grown and donated over 57,000 pounds of organic produce and 66,800 flowers to local folks in need of food and joy.”
In 2022, this little farm that has but one-and-a-half acres of growing capacity donated over 12,336 pounds of organic produce to more than 35 organizations and partners. That equates to about 10,280 meals.
The farm also donated more than 23,467 flowers to hospitals and essential workers in what Berman calls, “flower joy”. It also donated hundreds of Dahlia tubers to pantry partners and 250 tubers to the Maine State Prison so they could grow flowers and donate them to their community.
The farm is currently building a grow tunnel and a propagation greenhouse to add to its endeavors.
With 2024 just beginning, I wanted to share this update. The love of food is more than dining out at restaurants and collecting recipes. To truly love food is to share it with others. Thank you.