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Scrumptious Orchard and Gardens will benefit from a land donation to grow more fruits and vegetables to donate

By Cindy Fama

A plot of land off Hult Road in Colton has been donated by the Simmons family to Scrumptious Orchard and Gardens, a community supported farm founded in 2020 in response to food security concerns resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic.

The charitable endeavor is headed up by Jonathan Moscatello with the help of Brian Simmons, LoriJane Moscatello, and Simon Harris. According to their website, they grow many types of vegetables on the farm but focus on the varieties that most everyone enjoys eating.

PMG PHOTO: CINDY FAMA - Scrumptious Orchard and Gardens will have more land to grow fruits and vegetables for donation thanks to a donation of land.

"We plan for harvest as early in the season as possible and continue as late in the season as possible," Moscatello said. "Each Monday, we harvest what is ready and deliver the produce to the Colton Helping Hands Food Bank. We keep meticulous records on everything that is delivered and let shareholders know each week what we pick and send to the food bank. At the end of the season, we send a letter that tallies everything that was contributed to the food bank on members' behalf. This letter can be used to claim the membership cost as a charitable donation."

The way the CSA works is through a tax-deductible membership costing $250, which is used for seeds and maintaining the farm.

"At Scrumptious Orchard and Garden, we like to create opportunities for members to spend some time on the farm," Moscatello said. "We hold harvest parties and volunteer work events. The fruits and vegetables we grow need to be amenable to the facilities of the food bank, so we stick to the basics. We do not plan to use any petro-chemicals to grow these veggies, however we do not plan to become certified as organic. If you have any concerns, just come out to the farm and see for yourself."

The efforts of all involved with Scrumptious Orchard and Garden is much appreciated.

"Helping Hands gets wonderful, wonderful donations of veggies every week," local food bank coordinator Donna Fix said. "They give us all kinds of produce. It is so awesome; each week there is enough to share with everyone who comes to the food bank. There is everything needed to make some good recipes."

Moscatello said he grew up cooking in an Italian household and they grew and cooked with lots of fresh vegetables. Not only does he spend his off-work time in the garden acres of Colton doing what he loves to do, what he calls his "labor of love," but he has a YouTube channel where he shares and demonstrates how to cook "farm fresh" recipes.

Moscatello's videos do give a hint as to how much fun he has cooking and to his quick wit and sense of humor.

You can find his YouTube channel at "Scrumptious Orchard & Garden." The recipes are quick and easy and all about fresh fruits and vegetables.

"We explore topics based on agriculture and rural life and you can expect the videos to be a little bit funny. I love to laugh," he said.

For more information on CSA, visit their website at https://www.scrumptiousog.com/ and sign up for more information.


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