Chefs prep in the House Chef Challenge event at the Ronald McDonald House

The farm gives produce to organizations in need and teaches campers about sustainability.

Featured photo courtesy of Tamarack Camps

At Camp Maas of Tamarack Camps, the Farber Farm has been growing and blossoming since opening its barn doors in June 2018. During the farm’s second summer of programming, campers had the opportunity to plant, harvest and snack on fresh veggies while learning about sustainable agriculture and its connection to Judaism.

One may wonder where the endless rows of fruits, veggies and herbs go after campers, staff and volunteers harvest them. In the summer, Farber Farm Manager Alex Rosenberg works closely with the Head of Dining Services at Camp Maas Regina Helsinki to determine which fresh foods can make it into the chadar ochel (dining hall).

To maintain accordance with kosher law, some produce cannot be served in the chadar ochel. While one may think that all vegetables follow the laws of kashrut, the possible contamination from insects, stringent washing and supervision requirements make things complicated.

In the summer, donations are delivered weekly to Yad Ezra by volunteers. Some produce has been enjoyed at Hazon Detroit events, as well as displayed at the Hazon Michigan Jewish Food Festival. Tamarack Camps also donates excess produce to the Ortonville Food Bank, Jewish Ferndale, and congregations and food banks throughout the year.

In November, the Farber Farm was a donating sponsor at the Ronald McDonald House Charities for its “House Chef Challenge” event. The Farber Farm delivered a produce pantry (complete with mystery ingredients) for a fundraising program held at the Ronald McDonald House Detroit, which mirrored popular TV show cooking competitions.

Talented chefs, including Tamarack Camps’ own Sammy Vieder (a past contestant on NBC’s MasterChef Junior), formed two teams and competed in a cook-off using surprise challenge ingredients from the Farber Farm.

Tamarack Camps is thankful to Farber Farm Task Force members Sheri Mark and Elizabeth Sollish, as well as Rosenberg’s mother, Lisa Rosenberg, for connecting Tamarack Camps to this delicious, heartwarming event.

It is clear that the reach of the Farber Farm extends outside of Ortonville. It reaches into our Jewish community … and beyond!

Rachel Fine is a development and marketing associate at Camp Tamarack.