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In the summer, the Equinox Valley Nursery drops off fresh produce to the Manchester Community Food Cupboard once a week as part of the Plant-a-Row for the Hungry program.

MANCHESTER>>The Equinox Valley Nursery will hold its 10th annual Pumpkin Carving and Harvest Festival on Saturday to benefit the Manchester Community Food Cupboard.

The event brings in about 3,000 attendees by the days end, nursery co-owner Jenn Casey said. It features 21 craft vendors, a handful of farmers markets, seasonal food, beer and wine, pumpkin carving, wagon rides, corn maze, a costume parade and much more.

An entrance ticket costs $10 that covers a pumpkin carving, corn maze, wagon ride and bouncy house.

Each year, on average, the event raises about $3,000 for the cupboard.

The event started more than a decade ago as a pumpkin carving contest on the Orvis green that eventually ended up qualifying as a Guinness World Records for the most pumpkins being carved simultaneously. Later on, the event became more community oriented at the nursery.

Equinox Valley already supports the cupboard through the Plant-A-Row for the Hungry program by providing fresh produce to the facility on a weekly basis in the summer.

This year is the cupboard's board president Deb Moser's first time volunteering. She said she's excited to get the word out about her organization during a fun, family event.


"One of my goals in the food cupboard is to build awareness for people in need who may not know they can access it for supplemental food," Moser said. "There's people in need who don't know about us and we're trying to figure out creative ways to find those people."

The food cupboard serves 20 communities and a about 400 families per year or just under one thousand people.

"Our board is really enthusiastic and wants to make a bigger difference than we have in the past," she added.

Both parties ensure volunteers for the day. Burr & Burton Academy and Long Trail School volunteers also take part in the event.

The harvest festival is rain or shine and runs from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Equinox Valley Nursery at 1158 Main St. in Manchester.

Contact Makayla-Courtney McGeeney at 802-490-6471.