This past Sunday, September 15th, was our first ever Harvest Mayhem potluck/fundraiser celebration. Planned to be held outside at the Sustainable Renton Community Farm in NE Renton, the event was intended to highlight the bountiful harvest of the farm, to raise funds for Sustainable Renton, and to enjoy a community celebration outdoors. Well, the weather had other plans for our day. Starting with gloomy, ominous skies, and quickly turning to a rainy downpour featuring thunder & lightning, we were forced to either cancel the event in progress or quickly come up with a backup plan.
Fortunately, we are surrounded by many generous, flexible people. Celebration Foursquare Church, whose land the community farm sits on, graciously offered to open the doors to their portable building. And our musicians, Ron Stillwell and Callista Salazar, were very patient in their willingness to wait out the storm and to move inside. And then, in the process of moving tables, food, equipment, etc. indoors, all of the attendees who came out for the event stayed with us throughout this whole process. We are very lucky to be a part of this community.
The event itself consisted of a raffle, live music, a potluck, and garden tours. Our raffle featured homemade gift baskets (with items like pickles, jam, beets, and many other tasty creations), gift certificates ($50 from both Blossom Vegetarian and Red House, $20 from Torero’s, $25 from Liberty Cafe), and 1-1/2 hours of electrical work from Steve Randolph.
Live music was provided by Callista Salazar and Ron Stilwell. Callista is an emerging artist who played her owned compositions.
Ron, who has been performing for years, played a mix of some classics and newer material. Both performers helped to brighten the day, and were very warmly received. Steve Melle generously donated his sound equipment for the event.
The potluck was a definite hit-so many delicious appetizers, soups, snacks, and desserts. All were enjoyed with gusto by everyone in attendance. Many of the dishes featured in season, locally grown produce.
Before the weather sidetracked things, many attendees were able to wander the grounds of the farm to see the wide variety of flora that have been growing there this season. Some of the bounty included: amaranth (a deep, dark, gorgeous shade of red), red chili peppers, sunflowers, massive pumpkins, kale, chard, broccoli, turnips, radishes, and so much more.
While we certainly would have had higher attendance with better weather, we were still able to raise just under $100 from our raffle. Thank you to all who purchased tickets and donated items to the raffle, and to everyone who came out to celebrate with us. New friends were made, and community was strengthened.
We look forward to doing it all again next year (although we’ll probably aim for August for better weather prospects). Thank you!