Community Harvest Project holds annual festival


Community Harvest Project holds annual festival
Nate Eckman helps a visitor fire an apple from a pressurized cannon during the annual Harvest Home Festival and 5K on Sunday, Nov. 5, at Community Harvest Project. (photo/Maureen Sullivan)

GRAFTON – During the season at the Community Harvest Project, Nate Eckman leads other volunteers in growing and harvesting crops.

On Sunday, Nov. 5, Eckman showed youngsters how to fire apples out of a cannon.

The “thoomp” of apples shot into the fields, along with the “pop” of pumpkins hurled from a trebuchet, were among the sounds at CHP’s annual Harvest Home Festival and 5K run.

Hundreds came to celebrate not only a successful season, but a rare weekend without rain.

“It’s been a great turnout,” said Jeannie Hebert, a member of the CHP’s board of directors. “It’s a wonderful family event that supports the CHP.”

Hebert, along with fellow director Bob Paulsen, distributed free apples and apple seeds to visitors. Next to them was Mike Roseen from the Grafton Food Bank, one of the many organizations that benefit from the CHP.

“We got a lot of fresh produce this year,” he said.

He said the Grafton Food Bank is currently serving 165 families, and it could always use donations of nonperishables such as coffee, cereal and toilet paper.

The festival began with the 5K; dozens of men, women and children ran around the fields and adjoining neighborhoods.

Many of them stuck around for the hayride, vendors and (of course) the apple cannon and pumpkin trebuchet. Children played in a couple of leaf piles and created structures from empty boxes.

One of the vendors, Safe with Us Animal Rescue, brought several dogs ready for adoption, including Fatso, a black lab puppy part of a litter named after characters from the movie “Casper.”

Next to them, Angel Hair Alpaca Farm, based in Grafton, had winter goods available for purchase, and two live alpacas to pet.

The Big League Collective provided a blend of original music and covers.

For more information about the Community Harvest Project, visit

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