Sandhills Farm to Table begins fourth season under new leader

Jan. 23, 2013 @ 04:29 AM

Local strawberries, the freshest asparagus, kale, spring onions, lettuce, sugar snap peas and more — all part of the local bounty available to area residents through a program now starting its fourth season under a new manager with local roots. 

The Sandhills Farm to Table Cooperative is now accepting memberships and produce box subscriptions for the 2013 season through its online website www.SandhillsFarm2Table.com

"Neighbors Feeding Neighbors" and "We're All in this Together" are the slogans of the SF2T Co-op, a grassroots, community-owned enterprise that distributes weekly or biweekly produce boxes and other items from local farmers. More than 1,600 households in the Moore, Lee, Richmond and Cumberland county area participate. Members also get a a weekly newsletter with recipes and online store access to bulk produce for canning, jamming and freezing, potlucks and more.

For $25, anyone can become a 2013 member and take advantage of the available offerings.

Members can choose to subscribe to the regular produce box, which has an alternative box choice weekly, or the bread box, in which a loaf of fresh-baked bread replaces part of the produce. The spring/summer season begins April 17-18 and runs until mid-August; in September, the fall season begins an eight-week run.

Members may pick up at one of many gathering sites throughout the Sandhills — including Lee County's Cooperative Extension center. Options include weekly (18 weeks) or biweekly (9 weeks) deliveries, family boxes or a subscription for a "bread" box. Cost ranges from $22 per week for a Standard box to $40 for a family box.

Signup can be done online at www.SandhillsFarm2Table.com. Questions about membership and the subscription program are answered in an extensive FAQ on the website.

The fourth season also brings two key changes to the core team. A new general manager, Steve Peters, has taken on the role as of Jan. 1. Steve joins the team after leaving his 15-year corporate career in New York City to return to Moore County with his wife, Susan, proprietor of the Southern Whey cheese shop in historic downtown Southern Pines. Steve is a graduate of The O'Neal School and his family has claimed Moore County as their home since the early 1980s.

"Sandhills Farm to Table is a great community success story built on connecting people through locally produced food. I'm excited to become part of the team and lend some of my business experience and enthusiasm for community-based ventures to continue developing the SF2T narrative," Peters said in a prepared statement.

With Steve joining the team, co-founder and former general manager Fenton Wilkinson now will be pursuing projects both for SF2T and local economic development groups such as Moore County Partners In Progress.

"Fenton has been instrumental in the creation and growth of SF2T," said Jan Leitschuh, SF2T co-founder and board chairperson in a prepared statement. "And we look forward to continuing to work with him on key initiatives that will benefit both the co-op and the community at-large."

Anyone interested in supporting local agriculture through a membership or local subscription is invited to visit www.Sandhillsfarm2Table.com. For questions not answered on the website, email info@SandhillsFarm2Table.com.