Lexington Community Farm, a project of Lexington Community Farm Coalition (also known as LexFarm), is a nonprofit working farm at 52 Lowell Street in Lexington, MA, next to the Arlington Reservoir. LexFarm works to connect the community to locally grown food and sustainable farming practices while preserving historic farmland. Our mailing address is P.O. Box 554, Lexington, MA 02420.
LexFarm began in May 2009 as a grassroots organization founded by three neighbors concerned about the fate of the 7.9 acre Busa Farm upon its sale to the Town of Lexington. The Town had initially chosen to use the land for soccer fields and affordable housing, but thanks to tremendous community support, in March 2012, the Lexington Town Selectmen decided most of the land would be dedicated to a community farm, with approximately half an acre devoted to affordable housing. In July 2013, LexFarm’s proposal for a community farm, operated in cooperation with Community Farms Outreach, won the bid for a 10-year lease of the property. LexFarm, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, opened its farm stand on April 19, 2014, and is now a valued part of the fabric of the community.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Allison Guerette, President
The success of LexFarm is very important to Allison because local farms and sustainably-grown food are a piece of the climate change solution, as well as a way to grow community and help those experiencing food security. Allison joined LexFarm in 2014 as a member of the Education Committee and Clerk. She took on the role of President in 2015, and has since engaged in strategic, organizational, and business planning, overseeing farm staff, and supporting LexFarm’s committees and teams. Allison brings her education and experience in public administration and science education to LexFarm. She is Campus Sustainability Coordinator at Phillips Academy and a former environmental analyst for the Northeast state governments.
Susan Schiffer, 1st Vice President
Susan, a Lexington resident since 1993, professionally was a biology researcher in academia and the biotech industry for 22 years, until 2002, working on potential therapies for cancer and immune system diseases. Since then, she held leadership positions at her daughter’s elementary and middle school PTAs, on the Lexington Education Foundation and LexFarm Boards, gaining much experience in fundraising, event planning and communications. Susan got hooked on cooking farm-to-table dinners for her family when the Lexington Farmers’ Market started over 10 years ago. Since summer 2014, Susan has served LexFarm as a Board member and member of both the Development and the Communications Committees, heading the Development Committee for two years and served as VP for one year.
Amanda Maltais, 2nd Vice President
Amanda has been living in Arlington since 2012 after calling Somerville home for several years. Somerville’s progressive local food community shaped the way Amanda thought about, ate and cooked food. She became an avid vegetable gardener and a regular at her local city farmer markets. Since having her two young boys, her love for local food has increased – not only for the taste and nutritional value but also the importance of teaching children where their food comes from.
Amanda is a preschool teacher in Arlington and an active member of the Bishop Elementary School Garden Committee. Amanda was thrilled to join the LexFarm community in February of 2014. As a member of the Education committee, she enjoys teaching young children about farming and local food. Amanda looks forward to continuing to contribute to the growing success of Lexington Community Farm.
Ralph Clifford, Treasurer
Ralph is a professor of law at the University of Massachusetts School of Law where he teaches intellectual property and cyber law. He has been the treasurer of other 501(c)(3) charities (most recently BOLD, the parents’ group that supports the Lexington debate teams) and has been the C.O.O. of several small corporations. He lives a short walk away from the farm and, with his wife (a pediatrician practicing at Pediatric Associates of Medford) and two children, has been eating the farm‘s produce with much pleasure for the last twenty years.
Ashka Naik, Clerk
The love for land comes to Ashka as a treasured inheritance. Her family is from a farming community in Western India, home to the famous Alphonso mangoes. She grew up watching her grandmothers revere the healing properties of native plants, while seamlessly integrating this wisdom into their professions as doctors of medicine. Her education in an institution that espoused Gandhian philosophy taught her about Gandhi’s love for self-reliance at a tender age.
Ashka has led efforts on climate change, clean energy and sustainable design for over a decade. She has recently served as the Executive Director of HEET, a nonprofit providing clean energy solutions to local communities. For many years she has directed programs to help higher education institutions achieve climate neutrality. As a LEED accredited professional, she has also acted as the sustainability coordinator for Harvard University. She is currently working on expanding her own sustainable design consultancy into an international organization.
Ashka lives in Arlington with her husband, their infant son and daughter, whose favorite pastime is to find bugs, worms and anything squiggly, and whose love for “dirt play” first brought the family to the LexFarm community.
Sue has lived in Lexington since 1993 and is a gardening enthusiast. For the past 25 years, she has developed innovative products and services for the health care industry and currently works for Harvard Pilgrim Health Care. Sue grew up in the Garden State (NJ) and was used to going to local farms to buy fresh produce throughout the summer and fall.
When Sue became a Lindentree Farm CSA members 10 years ago, she realized how important it was to be involved with locally grown food and flowers and has been an avid CSA supporter ever since.
Sheila Chen Lawrence
Sheila, her husband and two pre-school aged children are new Lexington residents and new neighbors to the farm. Sheila had been a long-time Waltham resident; and a member of the Waltham Fields Community Farm, and its summer and winter CSAs, for the past 8 years. Sheila is passionate about environmental conservation and sustainable agriculture. Some of her most vivid childhood memories involve hiking the mountains in her native Taiwan with her family, participating in the clean up of trails and public lands. She is excited to become a part of LexFarm, and have her children grow up in such proximity to where their food is grown.
Sheila is a Managing Director and Senior Client Advisor at Ballentine Partners, LLC, a wealth-management firm, in Waltham. Sheila provides strategic advice to clients on investments, estate planning, tax, risk management, and philanthropy.
Molly DellaRoman has been farming produce and livestock in the Eastern Mass area for the past 12 years, for both non-profit and for-profit organizations. She began as a farming apprentice at Drumlin Farm in Lincoln, MA and then spent several years farming for the Trustees of Reservations in both Dover and Sharon, MA. She also participated in the WWOOF program for 6 months on farms in Washington, Oregon and California. Most recently she farmed for the chefs of the Webber Restaurant Group at Gibbet Hill Farm in Groton. Currently she is the Education and Curriculum Coordinator at the New Entry Sustainable Farming Project in Lowell, assisting beginning and immigrant farmers learn to manage their own farms.
Before farming, Molly had worked as a cooperative extension agent at Cornell University, where contact with famers helped her decide that she wanted to farm full time and that growing produce and raising livestock in a sustainable manner was the best way she could protect and enjoy nature. Molly’s passion for growing food has led to involvement with developing agricultural curriculum for local schools, helping to start more community farms and working with hunger relief agencies. Sharing sustainably grown food with family, friends, and her local community is how Molly feels is the best way to show you care for them and the planet.
Mark has lived in Lexington since 1996. He has over 30 years experience as an art director in the publishing industry and currently has his own graphic design business. He’s an enthusiastic vegetable gardener, starting plants from seeds in his basement and tending to his plot at the Idylwilde Community Garden in Lexington. His goal is to never buy salad greens at a store from May to October.
Having grown up working with his father’s carpentry business and doing renovation projects on a series of houses he’s learned many useful carpentry and DIY skills. Mark enjoys the outdoors and is an avid cyclist. He often rides to the farm to pick up his CSA share. Up until now, Mark has been involved with LexFarm by helping with graphic design projects including the LexFarm and LCF logos and using his carpentry skills to build signs and helping repair the farm stand. He’s looking forward to taking a more active role in shaping the farm site and planning for the future.
Marcia moved to Lexington with her husband Frank in 1991 and worked as a family and individual therapist for many years before deciding to stay at home full time to care for her 3 boys, now ages 22, 20 and 15.
Marcia’s interest in LexFarm flowed naturally from her passion for environmental education and sustainability. Marcia cofounded “Eco-Bridge” in her son’s elementary school, which launched a lunchtime recycling and food waste composting program that has spread to other schools . In 2009 Marcia collaborated with the Lexington K-5 science coordinator, Fran Ludwig, on a LEF grant for a “Green Energy Backpack” to complement the 5th grade energy curriculum. Last year Marcia again collaborated with Fran Ludwig and the Lexington Global Warming Action Coalition (LexGWAC) on a MassCEC grant, “Solarize Lexington- Bedford” which has succeeded in adding 130 rooftop solar electric systems to Lexington homes.
Marcia was recently appointed to the town’s “Sustainable Lexington” committee where she has volunteered to focus on the food sector for Lexington’s “Climate Action Plan”. Marcia is excited to bring her interest in sustainability, education, and the love of the outdoors to her work at LexFarm.
Kimberly Hensle Lowrance
Kimberly moved to Lexington with her family in 2011. An avid supporter of eating organic and local, Kimberly has been a member of LexFarm and a LexFarm CSA holder since its founding. She is very interested in the connection between the environment and personal health, and is committed to raising her two young children to make informed choices about the food they eat. Kimberly’s professional background is in nonprofit management, and she is experienced in all aspects of running mission-driven organizations, from finance to program development to strategic planning. She also is a freelance writer and publisher of the Red Shutters blog (www.redshuttersblog.com). By serving on the Board of LexFarm, Kimberly hopes to contribute to LexFarm’s continued growth and success and to learn some tips for her own backyard garden.
Katherine has been a Lexington resident since 2011 and came to her knowledge about food and nutrition from her personal experience with her two young children and the profound effect that eating properly has had on their young lives. She is the author of the Genghis Mom blog (www.genghis-mom.com) and is passionate about our food chain and the sourcing of the food she feeds her family and loved ones. She believes wholeheartedly that the decisions we make with regard to our food have effects more far reaching than we realize on ourselves and on our community at large. Katherine worked in management and technology consulting for more than a decade, and uses this experience to inform and structure her personal and volunteer work. That, and her red stapler.
Katherine and her family can be seen skiing every weekend possible and frequenting the bike path when there is no snow on the ground. Her guilty pleasures include anything related to home organization or comedy, including really bad puns.
Mary Rose Scozzafava
Mary Rose has lived in Lexington since 1993, with her husband, Eyal and three children. She is a lawyer and has worked as a patent attorney for 25 years. Many of her clients are in renewable energies, which keeps her up to date on the latest in solar, EVs and biofuels. Outside of the office, she is active in several organizations that promote sustainability and renewable energy, such as the Citizen’s Climate Lobby. Mary Rose believes in “eating local,” not only as a way to reduce the ‘carbon footprint’ of our food production, but because it “just tastes better.” She is an avid backyard gardener and has recently added beekeeping to her outdoor activities. Mary Rose is looking forward to helping raise community awareness and involvement in LexFarm and hopes that she will have a chance to dig in the dirt a little.
Ping, a Lexington resident since 2000, is a software engineer and an avid gardener, gardening in her backyard for more than ten years and in the Lexington community garden for the past four years. She is passionate about organic and heirloom gardening. During Lexington’s 300th anniversary celebration, she won first prize for the tastiest slicing tomato in the vegetable growing competition. She cares deeply about the environment and sustainability. She has helped high school students participate in the annual Charles River clean up and volunteers at the Lexington seed library where she got connected to LexFarm.
Raised in China, Ping missed lots of the Asian vegetables she grew up with which motivated her to start her own vegetable garden after moving to Lexington. While gardening, she also learned a lot about ecosystem and environmental issues. She believes that we need to return to the basics, get connected with nature, and take care of our environment before it is too late.
Tim Hines, Farm Manager
Tim joined Lexington Community Farm for the 2015 growing season. Tim comes from a background of land stewardship, environmental restoration, and horticulture. Before LexFarm, he worked as a member of the farm team at The Trustees of Reservation’s Moraine Farm in Beverly. After working with organizations like the Emerald Necklace Conservancy, the National Park Service, and the US Fish and Wildlife Service on various ecological restoration projects, Tim became deeply interested in the social, economic, and environmental forces governing resource management, land use, and food systems.
LexFarm’s use of land that has been in agriculture for over 100 years and the challenge of transition to organic methods has been extremely interesting work. Gradually increasing production, improving infrastructure, creating management strategies and farm systems– all while trying to remain available to customers and neighbors to answer questions and build community has been a fun balancing act. The overwhelming community support makes it all possible and adds meaning for Tim, who enjoys the interactions and cares significantly about honoring the longstanding agricultural history of the farm and making LexFarm an inclusive resource for the community.
Elena Colman, Production Manager
Elena started farming vegetables in 2006 as a summer job at Brigham Farm in Concord, MA. It didn’t take long before she fell in love with farming and began her never-ending quest for “the perfect season.”
After realizing this was the career for her, in 2013, Elena started and managed Crooked Row Fields, a three-season vegetable farm in Concord. In the spring of 2016 Elena joined LexFarm as the Assistant Farm Manager, excited to learn about growing on a larger scale with bigger infrastructure as part of a wider community. In her first year she has enjoyed crop planning and harvesting for 200 CSA members, learning how to troubleshoot the greenhouse furnace in the middle of the night in March, seeing boxes of beautiful produce waiting to be picked up and distributed by the food rescue program, and working with a fantastic group of volunteers.
Having taken for granted that she grew up in a town with twenty diverse farms, Elena is most excited about being a part of LexFarm’s mission to continue as a working farm, given that this is one of the last farms remaining so close to the city.