Bringing in the Harvest

SEC members take time to bond while making a difference in the community through The Food Project.

The Social Enterprise Club held its first annual Fall Retreat on Saturday, October 21. Almost 30 club members, a balance of ECs and RCs, enjoyed a gorgeous New England morning outside getting to know each other and the joys of farming, while making a difference in the community through The Food Project.

Members arose for an early 8:45 a.m. start and enjoyed a school bus ride to beautiful Lincoln, MA. Though only about a half an hour away from Cambridge, winding through the town and passing numerous farms made everyone feel far removed from the HBS campus. After a few fun opening activities in which the group got to know each other a little and learned about the mission of The Food Project, SEC members broke into smaller groups and dug into the “real work” of helping to bring in the harvest. They spent almost three hours digging up sweet potatoes and beets, pulling up rutabagas, carrots and celeriac (a type of celery root), and even planting garlic. Many sore fingers and dirty hands later, they enjoyed a delicious lunch made from the produce of the farm and cooked by Food Project interns from Boston high schools. Finally, our farm experience ended with a brief stop at a roadside pumpkin stand, before winding up where we started at Spangler.

Everyone who attended had a fantastic time. The confluence of doing real work, enjoying a completely different type of experience from cases, the company of fun and interesting club members, the beautiful scenery and landscape, and the fortunate sunny day made the retreat exceed even the organizers’ expectations.

Club leaders initiated the retreat to provide the members of one of the largest clubs on campus the opportunity to connect with each other and to make new friends, in a way that was aligned with the mission and spirit of the club. The Food Project was the perfect partner. A Boston-based non-profit organization, its mission is to create personal and social change through sustainable agriculture. The Food Project does this through youth development initiatives, public education initiatives about sustainable agriculture, hunger relief through distribution of Food Project harvests, and both direct suburban and urban agriculture.

The retreat was made possible by a generous donation from The Boston Consulting Group.

Social Enterprise Club members have upcoming social events and at least one or two more community-based retreats in the coming months-including perhaps a return to The Food Project’s Lincoln farm to do some planting in the spring!

November 6, 2006
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