By Carolyn Darr, For the Daily
Published October 4, 2013
On Oct. 6, Ann Arbor’s classic venue, the Ark, will host “Peas Turn Up the Beet,” an event that will raise money for the Community Farm of Ann Arbor.
Peas Turn Up the Beet!
Sunday at 7:30 p.m.
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A community farmer for four seasons, Kat Oshman gave the Daily the sweet scoop on this delicious event.
“Paul Bantle and Anne Elder, who are head farmers at the Community Farm, had the idea that we could have a benefit concert for the farm to try to sell shares to members,” Oshman said. “The last couple years we’ve had a bit of trouble selling shares, so we have had some big fundraisers. In the past, they’ve been a bit piecemeal because we really need to raise money and not spend any. This year, we decided we were going to go all out because not only do we want to raise a lot of money, but we also want to make this a big community event. We did a Kickstarter and raised almost $10,000 to put on this concert.”
The Community Farm is the oldest CSA in Michigan and the eighth oldest in the country. CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture and represents a movement to support local farms and bring the community together to share fresh produce. Ann Arbor’s Community Farm grows produce for 180 Ann Arbor families who are responsible for picking up their individual shares. Often, however, they are drawn into the magic of the farm and end up becoming participants in this tasty movement.
“We are very unique,” Oshman said. “Members take ownership in the farm and make decisions together. We really emphasize community and bringing people together.”
The farm, she explained, does not use pesticides or fertilizers and also makes its own compost.
“Our mission is, first of all, to help the earth by using practices that are sustainable and respectful to the environment and other creatures that are living there,” Oshman said. “We don’t think of this as just food production. We think of the farm as a piece of land that we are here to take care of in every sense of the word, not just something we can get what we need from.”
Attendees will have a chance to sample some of that lush, sustainably grown produce for themselves.
“We’re going to have free food samples available in a showcase called Taste of the Farm,” Oshman said. “We are preparing snacks for people to have before the show and during intermission, all with things we grow on the farm. It will be a little mini feast for people, a really nice way for them to experience what it literally tastes like to eat things from the farm.”
The two bands playing at the event, Seth & May and Breathe Owl Breathe, have close connections with the farm and its organic mission.
“Both bands have played fundraisers for us before,” Oshman said. “We feel their message is in line with things we do at the farm in terms of things they try to urge their audience to be mindful of. Their music can be a real call to action to make people aware of the environmental issues and inspire them to take action and make some sort of change. These two bands are really at the heart of Michigan folk music. A concert with them on the bill is a really special event.”
This appetizing concert will bring in people from all over Southeast Michigan, including Detroit. The farm got individuals and organizations like Whole Foods and Plum Market to sponsor concert tickets to make the event available to those who could not otherwise attend.
“We decided to sponsor young farmers in the Detroit community to make the show accessible to them,” Oshman said. “There’s a huge movement going on there right now. There’s urban farming, restaurants popping up all over the place, local education with school gardens and so on, but these people really can’t come to Ann Arbor.