Farm-to-table summer camp initiative

SMM participant Sam May chose a project of improving food choices at his son’s summer camp in Belgrade with clear and enthusiastic support from camp leaders and local food system businesses. Starting this summer, two camps under the Manitou name, will be offering a locally sourced organic salad bar and weekly meal specials. They’re also planning a composting project. Here’s an excerpt from a recent camp newsletter:

“Starting this summer we will have the freshest produce, dairy and meat delivered right to the Acting Manitou table from some of Maine’s local farms!! The state of Maine has over 1.3 million acres of farmland, and so Acting Manitou has partnered with a team of farmers, local food advocates, and nutritional consultants to launch a Farm-to-Table initiative and to improve health and wellness  at camp. The entire salad bar will be stocked with produce from a local farm! Staff & campers will enjoy weekly local food day, and other selected great Maine items integrated into the daily menu.

While just the wonderful nutritional value alone of getting our produce straight from the farm makes this endeavour worthwhile, we feel proud to support local Maine economy, teach our campers excellent eating values, and quite simply, locally farmed produce just tastes better.

Sam and Alexandra May, parents of Rowan, who you may remember as “Bert Healy” in this summer’s Annie have been the driving force behind this initiative.  Additionally, our chief farmer friend is Trent Emery, owner and operator of Emery Farms in Wayne, Maine, less than 30 minutes from camp.  We’ll also be working with Marada Cook of Crown of Maine,the largest distributor of local Maine food.  Earlier this year, we traveled to Portland to meet the crew for lunch.  Trent brought spinach harvested that morning on his farm and Tim and Steve ate about four helpings worth!

AND our local food advocate partners from the non-profit organization Barrels will join us in educating our staff and campers on the value of sustainable agriculture and supporting the  local economy. They’ll help us with a composting project, which can be used to turn food scraps and grass cuttings into fertilizer for our fields and flowers, and help us create, alongside our campers, Acting Manitou’s first organic veggie garden!

Our friends at Camp Manitou, right next door, helped spearhead this initiative and will also take part in the local food movement.

We are excited to be one of the first camps to embrace the farm-to-table initiative, and proud to support the farmers and local businesses in Maine!”

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