Even though I've heard the name Beardsley Farm thrown around quite a bit the past few years and have participated in Snow Day, their winter fundraiser, for the longest time I've had no idea what they are all about. Until yesterday.
Katie Ries invited me to take a tour of the farm. She is one of four AmeriCorps workers there, and she gave me a much-appreciated rundown of what happens on the urban development farm. If you read no further, just know this: It's really really awesome what Beardsley Farms does.
First, and I think most importantly, did you know that they don't sell any of their produce? Well, I didn't. They give it all away to organizations like the YWCA and Food Not Bombs. They also use organic practices, no pesticides and all that stuff. This philosphy in itself is pretty amazing to me: to give the very best to those that cannot afford it.
Another function of Beardsley is to provide community beds where anyone can coordinate with them about planting and harvesting their own food. Food in the Fort has about five beds that they use for their program to feed the homeless. Something I think is pretty sweet as well is that next to the community beds, they have a gleaners bed with produce that anyone passing by can take.
The more I learned yesterday, the more I wanted to know how to help them.
My first proactive endeavor is to ask you to consider going to their next fundraiser called "Raise the Roots" on Monday November 22. Mahasti Vafaie, owner of the Tomato Head, and head cook of the Maryville T Head, Robert Birkholz, are going to prepare a meal for all those attending to help raise money for the farm. The event is at the Tomato Head in Market Square and you can buy tickets in advance here.
The fact that this private event is at Tomato Head sells itself, and for a mere $25, to have a seated meal prepared by the owner of one of the best restaurants in Knoxville (and maybe the world), with all the planning and preparation that go into events like this, well, it's a steal.
Some of the ingredients will be provided by Beardsley, and Tomato Head is providing the rest. Alcohol is not included but will be available for purchase.
Need a date? As an added bonus you can take Knoxville's 72nd best blogger, yours truly. Take a ticket, gentlemen, and get in line.
If you can't attend the event, Here are other ways you can help and support Beardsley Farm:
You can donate money.
You can donate tools, materials, and seeds.
You can donate time by getting your hands a little dirty. Just call or email them.
You can spread the word to your friends and peers.
If you're a teacher, plan a field trip with them.
Oh, and they have bees!!
Beardsley Community Farm
1719 Reynolds Ave.
Knoxville, TN 37921