3 Virginia Brands Join to Launch Homegrown Harvest Festival in October

Franklin, Va.- June 27, 2023 – Hubs Peanuts, Commune Restaurant, and River Road Farm are thrilled to announce a new two-day festival on October 7-8 highlighting the best of Virginia cuisine, music, and community. The Homegrown Harvest Festival will benefit Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia and the Eastern Shore and The CROP Foundation to further their missions and create new opportunities for student involvement with the Foodbank’s new Western Tidewater Branch in Franklin.

According to Feeding America’s most recent food insecurity data, one out of every 13 Virginia residents lack consistent access to enough food to live an active, healthy life. Out of those 658,470 people facing hunger, 182,170 are children. The Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia and the Eastern Shore works to eliminate hunger among children and adults in the community through their Mobile Pantry, Kids Cafe, and BackPack Programs and by partnering with schools, soup kitchens, food pantries, and emergency shelters to distribute food to those in need. The CROP Foundation creates opportunities and resources for local youth interested in pursuing culinary, agriculture, and closely related fields to foster a new food-conscious and food-passionate generation. By supporting both of these organizations, Virginia is on the road to being a healthier, more sustainable, and culinary-rich state.

“At the core of Homegrown Harvest is our love and concern for the community we’re so deeply a part of, ” says Marshall Rabil, Hubs Peanuts director of sales and marketing. “Bringing together locals and visitors to celebrate the bounty Virginia has to offer while raising funds, awareness, and physical support to tackle hunger and provide culinary experiences for students is immensely meaningful to us.”

Food featured during the festival will be handcrafted by the area’s best chefs, including Harper Bradshaw from Harper’s Table in Suffolk, Kip Poole, who was on HBO’s The Big Brunch and runs the CROP foundation, and Sedley native and experienced chef Nic Hagen, as well as select out-of-town guest chefs like Walter Bundy, owner and chef at Shagbark in Richmond, and Ryan Ross who is a private chef and was featured on Food Network’s Chopped. Captain Chris Ludford from Pleasure House Oysters will serve Lynnhaven’s best oysters and provide education on sustainable aquaculture.

Beverage providers include Michael Shaps Wineworks, Cirrus Vodka, Crunchy Hydration, and others.

Student volunteers from the two local high school culinary programs will help bring the event to life with assistance from chefs and mentors from the Hubs, Commune, and River Road Farms teams.

Event schedule:

  • Saturday, October 7

    • Opening Kickoff Fish + Chicken Fry – 10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. – Blackwater Park, Franklin, VA, $50 per person. Guests can expect fried chicken and fish from David Rabil and Elisha Barnes with fixings. There will be live music from the bluegrass band Common Ground and hiking around the park.

    • The Harvest Reception – 6:30-9:30 p.m. – The Hubs Vine, 1459 Armory Dr., Franklin, VA 23851, $100 per person

    • Featuring the best of Virginia cuisine with multiple food stations and passed bites as well as wine, beer and cocktails with live music from some of the area’s best.

  • Sunday, October 8

    • Franklin Rising Brunch – 10 a.m.-1 p.m. – River Road Farm, 1300 N High St., Franklin, VA 23851, $100 per person. The brunch will feature a seated three-course open-fire meal with specialty cocktails. Tickets include entry to Music in the Country.

    • Group kayak paddle to the venue leaving at 9 a.m. from Barrett’s Landing in Franklin. Kayaks can be rented through Blackwater Outfitters and Nottoway River Guides, or guests can bring their own.

    • Music in the Country – 1-5 p.m. River Road Farm, $35 per person. Guests can look forward to a family-friendly event with local food trucks and live music from local artists.

All-inclusive weekend tickets are $225 per person. All tickets can be purchased HERE and include food, drinks, and access to live music. Sponsorship packages are available – contact [email protected] for more info.

About The CROP Foundation

The CROP Foundation’s mission is to foster education and employment for students who are driven to study and promote the art, science and soul of food. CROP creates opportunities for students to make a difference in their communities, providing resume-building experiences and volunteer opportunities and exposing students to future careers while raising awareness for issues related to local agriculture.

About The Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia and the Eastern Shore

The Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia and the Eastern Shore is a member of Feeding America™ and the Federation of Virginia Food Banks and has been providing food for people experiencing food insecurity throughout the Southeastern Virginia region since 1981. The Foodbank has distributed over 360 million pounds of food, equating to over 300 million meals throughout its 4,745 square-mile service area.

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