Veggies to Table is launching its Dahlia Joy fundraiser

Veggies to Table is launching its Dahlia Joy fundraiser

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Local nonprofit Veggies to Table is looking forward to the upcoming growing season with the launch of its Dahlia Joy Fundraiser campaign this week.

Veggies to Table, based in Newcastle, is committed to ending local hunger by growing and donating high-quality organic produce and flowers to local people who are hungry and in need of joy.

Last year, Veggies to Table donated and sold thousands of dahlias and tubers. Flowers were donated to food pantries, hospitals, local businesses and directly to community members. The tubers raised funds for the farm and provided flowers to local homes.

While Veggies to Table was hoping to be able to run the same tuber sale and flower donation program again this year, dahlia mosaic virus was discovered in the farm field. Unfortunately, they had to make the painful decision to dispose of all 1,500 dahlia tubers, and start over this season with tubers purchased from trusted sources.

“Knowing that our dahlias are healthy is our number one priority, despite the sadness of having to get rid of so much beauty,” said Erica Berman, executive director of Veggies to Table.

Starting over comes at a high cost, costing more than $20,000 to buy and plant a new crop of tubers. Each tuber costs between $10 and $30.

Veggies to Table has launched the Dahlia Joy Fundraiser to recover as much of this cost as possible. They’re happy to report that the fundraising campaign is off to a strong start this week, thanks to First National Bank of Damariscotta, which generously donated $4,500 to the cause. They are truly grateful for First National Bank’s ongoing support.

“Veggies to Table flowers are amazing,” said Allison Brooks, Jefferson Area Community Food Pantry representative. “Everyone has their own battles and we never know what they are. When you hand someone a gorgeous bouquet of Veggies to Table flowers, you instantly make everything better for them.

Veggies to Table believes the virus was introduced through the innocent donation of tubers from a local farmer. No one from Veggies to Table sold the tubers because of the problems reported, and they were pretty sure the problem came from donated dahlias that came after the sale, not from the ones they sold.

Berman and her team have seen time and again the joy their flowers bring to the community.

Help them spread that joy for years to come and contribute to the Dahlia Joy fundraiser at bit.ly/dahliajoy.

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