Tuberville is a place for people to participate in activities and discussions that surround hunger and ways to reduce hunger within our communities. Our initial activities didn't amount to a hill of beans. Well, actually they amounted to a hill of potatoes.
Started on the old David B. Thompson Farm in the fall of 2004, a small garden was tilled to provide foodstuffs for the Chittenden Emergency Food Shelf.
In 2005, Peter Perkins and his son harvested a very modest crop of 1470 pounds of potatoes for the food shelf.
In 2006, the field was more than doubled in size and with the expansion came Tuberville. We planted 5 different varieties of potatoes (Pontiac Red, Green Mountain, Yukon Gold, Kennebunk and Katahdin) over a four week period. After a long summer of weeding and fertilizing and mulching it was time to harvest.
Our gleaning crew was made up of six people and like the planting, the harvesting took some time. But by the 1st week of November, we had dug over 4,600 pounds of potatoes.
We continued our support of the Chittenden Emergency Food Shelf, and this time, we were able to also as make contributions to the Milton Family Center, the Vermont Food Bank, the Ronald McDonald House and we finished off the season providing potatoes for Thanksgiving meal baskets organized by the Colchester High School Cares program.
In 2007, we were contacted by Mike Abbott, from Abbott Family Farm in Durham, ME and Tuberville – Maine was born. Mike brought the ideas of scalability and multiple locations to the table and without his acknowledgement that others, more serious in the business of farming might be interested, we would have never have moved down the path that we have.
Since then, Tuberville has continued to develop different models: some are educational for students in elementary school, some are focused on community involvement and others use current professional farming techniques. These programs use a wide variety of value systems; some are organic, some use environmental deterrents and when appropriate, residential level fertilizers and sprays, and others use sustainable and licensed methods of support. Each projects model and value system is based on the wishes and the needs of the participants and the goals of that project.
In 2012, Tuberville surpassed the 100,000 pound mark for the total amount of food its projects have donated to the charitable food system. Some days, that seems like a lot to us, but mostly it reminds us how far we have to go.