Letter to the Editor

On the Everett Harvest Fest

Dear Editor,

Thank you for your informative article and the photos of the Harvest Fest in last week’s newspaper.  I appreciate the Everett Independent staff covering the event and helping raise awareness about food accessibility.

I would also like to take the opportunity to thank Mayor DeMaria and the City for making this event happen. Most importantly, Harvest Fest would not have succeeded without the participation of local farmers, restaurants, performers, and community organizations. 

In celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, local restaurants, including Taco El Paso, Montecristo, and Supermercado served delicious pupusas, tacos, mouth-watering sides, freshly sliced mango, coconuts, and much more! We also had the talented singer Primo Simon singing live Latin music accompanied by his family. Singer Simon works for WuNR 1600 AM Radio International. Primo Simon’s son Juan Vaquerano helped plan the Harvest Fest along with Roberto Velasquez, HR Specialist for the City of Everett. I am incredibly grateful for their assistance and feel honored to have worked with them. For Hispanic Heritage month the City will be hosting Fiesta Del Rio to celebrate our diverse Hispanic community with a spectacular lineup of entertainment, activities for children, dancing, hispanic food, and fun for all on Saturday, October 15, 2022, at Glendale Park from 10 am- 8 pm.

We are so grateful to all the vendors who participated (as listed below.)

 Additional Food Vendors:

-Oliveira’s served grilled Brazilian meats and drinks near the beer garden, including beer from Aeronaut Brewing. 

-Phalla’s Produce sold six tables full of produce from her farm in Lowell. Phalla Nol and her family sold garlic, green onions, cabbage, basil, eggplant, and peaches to name a few. Phalla was one of the vendors at Everett’s original market and specializes in Asian produce.

-La Huerta Farms distributed vegetables grown by Yohanna Moreno and Shane Hurley, a husband-and-wife team who plants everything for La Huerta including varieties from Latin America and the world.

-Everett Community Growers brought produce from their two urban farm locations. ECG shared information on the Everett Food Policy Council which works with the City to ensure an equitable and sustainable food system in Everett. They also spoke on their community gardens, urban farms, social justice, and youth empowerment work. 

Organizations: 

-Neighborways sought residents’ feedback on the design of 66 Main St., a new neighborhood park with art murals, a pollinator garden, fountains and native trees. 

-DCR joined the event to promote their Greening the Gateway program, which offers free tree plantings to Everett residents in the designated tree planting area. Please see the website for more information: https://www.mass.gov/service-details/greening-the-gateway-cities-program

-Everett Cultural Council tabled on their current community artwork projects and events in Everett, including the Everett Art Walk. They are seeking funding proposals for community-oriented arts, humanities, and science programs due October 15. Information can be found here:https://massculturalcouncil.org/communities/local-cultural-council-program/

-Eliot Family Resource Center and Haitain Community Center offered information on their resources that help parents, children, and families find emotional support and practical assistance to succeed.

-Fresh Truck allocated information on their food accessibility work in the greater Boston region and Fresh Connect, which offers a food subscription service for families and individuals. Fresh Truck will return to Everett in November to host a pop-up market-styled, retrofitted school bus to provide fresh fruits and vegetables at a low- to no cost for all residents.

-Members from MassDOT conducted Silver Line outreach around the Silver Line Bus extension. They are looking to gain feedback on critical locations for the route. This feedback is part of the Silver Line Extension Alternatives Analysis.

Performers: 

-Dj Donny started the event by playing some of the classics from the oldies to new age pop. 

-Ethan Berkowitz and his talented band Leary played some fantastic music, while patrons shopped, danced, ate, and spoke with the vendors. 

The City hopes to work with residents to create a community-oriented market next year to address Everett’s need for healthy, fresh, culturally appropriate food. This is vital as our only grocery store in the City has closed for business. While our City may not have a grocery store; we do have residents passionate about locally grown food. This is evident as you walk throughout Everett during the summer months and see residents utilizing their small plots of land to grow their own food. You may see fruit trees, chickens, tomatoes, corn, beans, squash, and herb gardens, feeding families from diverse backgrounds. Households are able to transform underutilized land that is prominently industrial into growing spaces. In a community where planting and cooking practices are valued, a farmer’s market can offer a critical cross-cultural community space to celebrate food while increasing access and supporting the local economy. 

Thank you again, and please email any feedback or comments on this event or future farmer’s markets to [email protected]

Kate Jenkins-Sullivan 

Sustainability Planner 

City of Everett

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