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    Farm celebrates spring’s arrival

    To celebrate the start of this year’s growing season, the Waltham Fields Community Farm will hold its 12th annual “Sprout” benefit gala Friday from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. at the Charles River Museum of Industry and Innovation. The event will feature fresh farm food, an open bar, live jazz, and both a live and silent auction, as well as an online auction featuring 25 items that wraps up this weekend. It is a main fund-raiser for the farm, which is a nonprofit organization that promotes local agriculture and access to healthy produce for local low-income residents and shelters. Organizers expect more than 300 people to attend Friday’s gathering, where the lineup of donated auction items will include weekend stays in New England locales, farm shares of fresh produce and meat, gift certificates for local restaurants, theater and museum passes, and handmade quilts and artworks. Tickets cost $55, or $50 for Waltham Fields Community Farm members; the price is reduced to $35 after two tickets are purchased. Bids are being accepted on the online auction items through 11 p.m. Sunday. For more information on the event and to place bids in the online auction, visit www.communityfarms.org.