Andreotti fire.jpeg

To help raise money to rebuild the beloved Andreotti Family Farm’s produce stand and barn destroyed in a February fire, the family is holding a farm-to-table lunch fundraiser Nov. 13 and 14 available to the public.

“Just as far as the landscape of our community and town, it’s really important. It changes things. People miss that visual image of this historic barn and knowing they can walk up any weekend and grab produce that has been grown right on the farm,” Dawn Dillman of Andreotti Farms said.

The Andreotti Farms produce stand and barn at 329 Kelly Ave. in Half Moon Bay served organic produce for the community for more than 60 years, with the family-owned farm running since 1926. The barn served as the hub for the farm and held the family’s entire dry bean collection and various heirloom seeds, which are a financial and cultural loss for the family. Unique varieties of beans, artichokes, flowers and herbs nurtured through the generations were destroyed and might not be available again for the public.

Dillman is optimistic about fundraising but said funding the rebuilding effort has a long way to go, with an uphill battle ahead. After initial recognition in the immediate aftermath, fundraising slowed as they began clearing damages and assessing what was needed. Losing the barn has been a blow for the family and area due to its agricultural importance and serving as a produce stand. Farmland is expensive to keep up and maintain, with insurance often only giving a tiny fraction of what it will take to rebuild the barn. The barn burning down has made selling produce more difficult, with a loss of income as a result. Day-to-day activities have also been affected. The structure was a storing area during the crop drying process throughout the seasons. The family now uses their only other barn to store crops that usually protect tractor equipment. Dillman acknowledged fundraising would have to increase and offer more to people to help them feel more connected through events rather than just asking for a drop in the bucket.

“The amount of money we need to replace the barn is significant, and while we have a GoFundMe page open, I don’t think we are even at 25% of that initial goal, and that initial goal is well below what we are really going to need to rebuild,” she said.

Dillman said the barn was the oldest structure on the property and served as the farm’s oldest and longest-standing storefront. Locals would come by all the time to get produce and be a community gathering place.

“That building was so inherent to the landscape. People think of Half Moon Bay, and often that barn is the image that comes to mind for a lot of people,” Dillman said.

Protecting local family farms and farmland throughout the area has become a challenge given the decreasing arable soil levels throughout the larger area and the lack of understanding from the general public about food production and what it takes. Dillman hopes those who go to the event will learn about local farms’ importance.

“It’s not just a campaign to raise money to rebuild our barn. It’s an educational campaign to get people to understand the difficulties of food production,” Dillman said.

The event is Nov. 13 and 14 from noon to 4 p.m. It is the first-ever Farm to Table Lunch Series. The lunch is from California Girl Catering, with a meal produced from Andreotti Farms, wine offerings from Barterra Wines and beer from S27 Brewery. A silent auction will take place with local donated art. People will also be able to harvest sunflowers, walk through the corn maze and learn about the workings of the farm. The last day to buy tickets is Nov. 9 at noon.

People can visit the Andreotti Farms website at andreottifamilyfarms.com/event-details/farm-to-table-lunch-fundraiser-november-13th-14th-2021-11-13-12-00 for more information about the event. People can go to https://www.gofundme.com/f/rebuild-andreotti-family-farm-destroyed-by-fire?utm_source=widget&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=p_cp+share-sheet to donate and learn more about the barn.

curtis@smdailyjournal.com

(650) 344-5200 ext. 102

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