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Community farm wraps up its Summer of Fit Festival Series

September 12, 2018
By MELISSA BILL ( , Lehigh Acres Citizen

Healthy Harvest Community Farms hosted its final Summer of Fit Festival Series on Saturday, Sept. 1. The full-day, luau themed event began with a 5K race at 7 a.m., which was followed by mimosas and muffins. The main sponsor of this month's event was Kiwanis of Lehigh Acres.

A portion of the event's proceeds raised throughout the day went to the Sanibel Captiva Conservation Foundation, a non-profit dedicated to the conservation of coastal habitats and aquatic resources and F.I.S.H. The mission of this month's event was to raise funds to assist in making Southwest Florida's waters safe again.

According to Virginia Lesko, director of marketing, sales and events, this month's event did not draw in as many attendees as the ones held in July and August. She pointed out that the smaller crowd might be due to Labor Day weekend.

"Our August event drew in about 300 people. We were a little surprised by the smaller turn-out this month," said Lesko.

Healthy Harvest's August event was dedicated to fallen Fort Myers Police Officer Adam Jobbers-Miller.

The morning started off with a 5K run that began at 8 a.m., followed by plenty of food and refreshments. Other activities throughout the day included fitness and cooking classes, raffles, live music, dancing, games, arts and crafts, as well as a giant Slip 'N Slide.

Attendees got a chance to listen to live entertainment on a full stage centered on a hill that overlooked the golf course. James Prather kicked off the event at 9 a.m. Other bands on the line-up included Hip Squad and Bad Latitude.

"We had quite a few great people volunteering today and a ton of beautiful flowers and plants that were donated by American Farms, said Lesko.

Attendees were also encouraged to drop-off canned foods for a human services organization called F.I.S.H. of Sanibel-Captiva. The food pantry provides vital social services for those living on the island.

Healthy Harvest also offers a variety of programs such as educational field trips, Farm Fit, private tours and gardens which are available to schools and organizations for one-on-one nutritional education.

According to Healthy Harvest Farms founder and CEO, Joe Pearson, many local schools are already taking advantage of the educational aspect of the farm.

"They come here and get learn about how fresh produce is grown and ways they can incorporate healthier food into their diets," said Pearson.

Expansion plans are already under way for the local farm, with a goal to produce enough produce to supply the needs of local businesses and restaurants, which would provide a direct income for future sustainability.

For more information on upcoming events or the various programs held throughout the year, contact Virginia at (239) 738-1327 or visit



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