Anathoth Community Garden, End of Year Fundraiser: Day 4, the HarvestShare CSA and an Interview with Freddy

Hey friends,

I have two days left to raise $300 more for Anathoth. Every little bit helps. Thanks for taking the time to visit my page. I really, really appreciate your reading these stories and considering making a donation.

Today, I’d like to tell you about how Anathoth connects people with the highest quality, perishable produce and their community through our HarvestShare program. We started the HarvestShare program four years ago with the hope that it would allow us to sustain our mission to ‘cultivate peace’ with financial support from a broader network of churches and individuals.

The program is based off of the Community Supported Agriculture (“CSA”) concept in which people make a financial commitment at the beginning of a growing season to support a local farmer. In return, they get a share of what that farm produces throughout the season. HarvestShare models an equitable CSA because for every share that someone purchases for their own household another one is donated to a household that wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford it. This past year we supported about 150 households with a weekly supply of sustainably-grown produce for 8 months. Additionally, we encourage HarvestShare participants to join our weekly workdays where they can connect with the source of their food and their neighbors in the garden!

Here’s today’s interview, with a HarvestShare participant, Freddy, and artist in Chapel Hill:

Meet HarvestShare participant: Freddy Cotton

Freddy Cotton (shown here with one of his drawings of a picnic table) was born and raised in Chapel Hill, where he still lives with his step-father (and resident chef), William. Freddy is an artist, and during the interview he pulled out a stack of drawings, signed and dated, from over the years. Below are excerpts from the interview with Freddy.What was it like growing up in Chapel Hill in the ’60s?
Things were quieter, it wasn’t as congested. There weren’t as many people around. I liked riding my bike. 

Our neighbor had a big, big field. We used to help, picking corn and potatoes, and they would share it with us. I helped them feed the hogs, watered the hogs, all the time.

How has it been to make your life in Chapel Hill, over the years?
I just love it here. It’s peaceful. I used to work at the hospital. I retired from the hospital. I worked in housekeeping — but I worked in the operating room.

What’s your favorite way to spend your day now?
I like to sit around and draw. I do a lot of drawing. Some people say, ‘You must be bored, because you’re always drawing.’ But that’s just what I like to do. I draw several times a week. I never draw the same thing over. I try to find something different.

I love music. I love rap, R&B. I try to sing a little bit. I try to play. I play bongo a little bit, drums a little bit. I play piano, just something I learned from my son.

I have one son and four grandkids. I like to see them laugh and have fun.

How did you learn about HarvestShare?
I went to Social Services, and they had a flier there on the table. I picked one up and started reading, and I thought, ‘I should go call them.’ Because we like vegetables, and we didn’t have any, and the doctor’s always telling you to eat your greens and fiber.

My favorite vegetables are carrots — all of it. I can eat everything, if it’s cooked. The tomatoes, green beans, all the greens. I started eating broccoli in 2015. And I started eating a little squash.

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