I’ve had a lot of fun the last few days trying to keep up with different kids on farms, as LexFarm organized some education and volunteer programs at two farms.
First, on Thursday we had about 20 kids and their parents visiting Waltham Fields Community Farm for a Kids Farm Tour. We separated into two groups according to age: I decided to hang out with the littlest ones. We learned about the “Fab Five” things that plants need to grow (can you name all five?), made hummous that included fresh-picked cucumbers, and did some planting in the Learning Garden.
Today, I met about 35 adults and kids down at Busa Farm and we helped harvest potatoes. There were very few people who knew what a potato plant looked like, so we had a fun time trying to identify all the wonderful vegetables, until Jane led us to the potatoes. For their hard work, everyone got to take home a half-lunchbag of potatoes.
It’s been two years of forums, blog postings, letters to the editor, proposals and presentations…but Verena Wieloch from Gaining Ground already said everything that needs to be said about what a community farm would bring to Lexington – back in May, 2009. Everyone should watch this video (two parts totaling less than 12 minutes) …she’s amazing.
The featured speaker will be Professor Brian Donahue, of Brandeis University, with a talk entitled, “The Future of Farming and Forests in New England”. His book, Reclaiming the Commons: Community Farms and Forests in a New England Town, tells the story of the early years of Land’s Sake farm in Weston, placing it in the context of the general history of farming and forestry in the area. The book was a great inspiration to to many of us when LexFarm was first forming.
Here is the text from the CLC announcement with more details:
The Citizens for Lexington Conservation (CLC) is pleased to invite the public to its Annual Meeting on Tuesday, April 12 at 7PM in Cary Memorial Hall . The speaker at this year’s meeting will be Brian Donahue, Associate Professor of American Environmental Studies at Brandeis University, with a talk titled, “The Future of Farming and Forests in New England”.
I don’t, of course, intend the title of this post to be taken literally. I’m simply hoping that Lexington could someday enjoy and learn from it’s own community farm. I encourage you to visit Waltham Fields on a busy day sometime this season–it’s no more than a 10 minute drive from just about anywhere in Lexington–to get a sense of what a thriving, fun environment it can be.
Peter Barrer, board member the Newton Angino Community Farm, sent us links to a couple of videos that provide some great insight into how their farm got started and how it runs now.
The first of these is a short excerpt from a segment that appeared on Needham public access TV.
This second is about 30 (fascinating) minutes long. It includes lots of details about the history of the farm, the efforts to acquire the land, visits to a CSA operation in Framingham and a range of interviews with supporters.
Land’s Sake combines ecologically-sound land management practices with hands-on environmental education to model how public open space can be used and enjoyed by the community. A 501c3 nonprofit corporation, we run a public farm, host educational programming for all ages, maintain the town forest for recreational and production uses, and care for both public conservation and private land.
Founded in 1973 by citizens interested in continuing the farming tradition of Lincoln, CCF is a non-profit agricultural enterprise. Mission statement: To operate a working farm that is open to the public in a financially and environmentally sound manner, to preserve traditional regional farming practices that ensure our animals are treated humanely, and to promote agricultural education in Lincoln, Massachusetts and the surrounding communities.