Being a team of part-time farmers, Chris, Jeffie and Erin thought the Harvest Moon was a beautiful time to gather with new and old friends to celebrate the “harvests” of the year. For the Rivendell Farms of the Carolinas team, this was a year of “ground breaking” and the first year operating as a formal, non-profit organization.
Chris and Jeffie Hardin, the owners of the original Rivendell Farms, used to farm on 8 acres in Huntersville, growing hydroponic lettuce and other vegetables as well as raising beef cows, dairy goats and chickens. In 2017 they sold the farm and created Rivendell Farms of the Carolinas, a 501c3 organization focused on STEM education, supporting local farmers and local food as well as promoting clean water along the Catawba River. Erin Hostetler joined the Rivendell Farms team in December of 2017 as the Program Coordinator. Erin is a farmer, too. She and her boyfriend operate a 1.6 acre homestead near Mountain Island Lake.
During the Harvest Moon Mingle at Free Range Brewing, Chris, Jeffie and Erin shared their vision and passion for the work they are leading. Discussions around new resources for the food community of the Charlotte region were had, including facilitating workforce training opportunities on the west side, working in CMS schools to encourage STEM education, creating a regional food systems Map of Charlotte and our support of a Voluntary Agricultural District in Mecklenburg County. Fellow farmer friends from 100 Gardens, Bennu Gardens and Creekside Farms attended. Local snacks were catered by Chefs Tara and Brenton Ebersold at Bleu Barn Bistro.
For those of you who follow the Old Farmer’s Almanac abidance, each month of the year has a special full moon that typically corresponds to a phase in the growing season, a natural calling or some other wild happening. January is the Cold Moon, June is the Strawberry Moon and September, is the Harvest Moon. Because of its placement in the early night sky, the Harvest Moon produces additional light to help farmers complete the harvests of the season. It also marks the autumnal equinox, a time of cooler weather and slower work days, a time to celebrate!
The Harvest Moon Mingle was the inaugural event for the Rivendell Farms of the Carolinas team! It is the start of an annual ritual for sharing and learning about local food in the Charlotte region.
Jeffie, Erin and Chris