“It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade.”
- Charles Dickens
We made it through the coldest month of the year (though those 60 degree days last week were a pleasant break) and are happily starting our 2017 farming season. Both Seumas and Gioia are back at the farm helping Scott with seeding, winter markets and many other farm chores. An array of new baby chicks will be arriving in mid-March to the excitement of the 4Hers and farmers. Enrollment is now open for everyone for our kids' farm education programs and adult workshops. Lastly, the dates are set for our yearly community events. There's a lot to read! Enjoy!
Spring & Summer Program Registration Now Open
Summer Farm Days -- Hands-on farming, animal care, and fun all on our working farm. (K-5th graders)
Story Time -- Join a farm educator for a story and walk around the farm. (PreK with an adult) More information
Little Homesteaders -- Little ones will help with farm chores, care for the animals, plant some vegetables and more. (PreK with an adult) More information
Farm Explorers -- 6-week, hands-on program that involves Kindergartners in our everyday farming operations. (Kindergarten) More information
Save These Dates for Our 2o17 Events!
We are happy to announce the dates for our yearly community and fundraising events.
Wake Up the Farm: Saturday, May 13
This free community event kicks-off our season at the farm. We will have seedlings for sale, educational workshops, food and more. Stay tuned for more details.
Farm to Fork Dinner: Friday, September 15
Our signature fundraising event comes back for its 4th year! What makes this event so special each year is that it is a true celebration of Norwell Farms: we are at the farm, eating vegetables grown right there, alongside the people who support what we are doing. Tickets to this sell-out event will go on sale this summer with priority given to 2017 Friends of the Farm.
Harvest Festival: Sunday, October 15
Our most popular family event will return for it's 5th year. It's always an afternoon of family fun as we celebrate the end of the farming season with games, food, music hay rides and more at the farm.
Upcoming Farm Workshops
April 1: Seed Saving
Norwell Farms is partnering with the Norwell Public Library to offer a seed saving seminar. Learn why seed saving is important, three methods of saving seeds, and explore the Norwell Seed Lending Library--a great resource for the South Shore.
April 8: Chicken Keeping 101
You see all the cute baby chicks in the feed stores or pictures from chicken owning friends. Perhaps you've even contemplated getting chickens yourself. But where to start? Join us for a 90-minute workshop on caring for your backyard flock. We will discuss selecting chicken breeds, raising chicks, health & first aid, and everyday care.
June 3: Make Your Own Baby Food
Making your own baby's first foods is easy, healthy, and affordable! You'll learn just how simple great tasting purees and finger foods can be, master simple flexible recipes that you'll use time and again, and get some great storage and freezing strategies. The course is led by DeeDee Tobias who has a doctorate in nutrition, but more importantly she has tested this all on her own two little ones.
June 17: Vegetable Fermentation
Fermentation is the transformation of food via microbes. It's been used for thousands of years as great way to preserve vegetables. The process of fermentation also increases the nutritional value of the food and makes it easier to digest. But best of all it's easy to do in your own kitchen. In this 90-minute workshop we will demonstrate how to make sauerkraut and a brine ferment.
July 15: Bee Keeping 101
Join us for a 90-minute workshop on Backyard Beekeeping. The decline of the honeybee has prompted many enthusiasts to start their own backyard beehive. Find out if this is for you. We will cover where to get proper training on beekeeping, costs of establishing your own beehive and basics of honeybees and honey production. Plan to leave knowing more about honeybees and whether this hobby is for you.
Date TBD: Growing Cut Flowers
Have you dreamed of growing beautiful cutting flowers to brighten your home all season long. If so, please join Nikki Bartley of Cross Street Flower Farm to learn what to plant for cut flower growing, how to harvest for bouquets, and simple flower arranging.
March always catches us by surprise. After plowing snow through a few storms in February, this latest glimpse of spring weather has us itching to get our hands in the soil and start the 2017 season on the right foot! This being New England, however, we can likely expect a late storm or two that will keep us on our toes. Despite this glimpse of spring, we are still three months away from our first CSA pickup!
Though we are still a few months away from the "prime time", we are always actively working behind the scenes to make the season run as smoothly as possible. To prepare, we have cleaned and sanitized the greenhouse, purchased new potting soil, put the final touches on our crop plan, and ordered organic seeds from our favorite seed companies.
We fired up the propane heaters in the greenhouse and seeded leeks, onions, and shallots this past week. These crops need a solid 8-12 weeks of protected growing in the greenhouse in order to transplant out into the fields. Herbs are next in line: this season we are growing plenty of crowd favorites like rosemary, thyme, and basil! In the next two weeks, we will seed cool season crops like beets, spinach, and swiss chard while heat loving tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant are quick to follow. Timing is crucial in the greenhouse, because a day or two late seeding can mean the difference between planting at the end of April or in the middle of May!
You may have noticed that we offer great discounts and early registration to our education programs for Friends of the Farm. This is to acknowledge the support which allows us to hire education staff, feed our chickens, establish a learning garden, provide fresh produce to the Norwell Food Pantry, partner with the Friends of the Homeless of the South Shore, and more. Thank you!
Make a tax deductible donation of $50 or more to Norwell Farms today, and your family will enjoy these Friends of the Farm benefits in 2017:
$15 off our Farm Days Summer Program
Automatic entry in a lottery to win two free tickets to our annual Farm to Fork Dinner
Advance ticket purchase to our annual Farm to Fork Dinner
Priority registration and discounts on select education classes and events throughout the season
Norwell Farms is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.
"Seed: The Untold Story" Final Call for Tickets - We hope!
Due to the snow storm that came into town on February 9th, our screening of Seed: The Untold Story was rescheduled to March 2nd. So,now is the last chance to get tickets for Seed: The Untold Story. The screening to see the award winning documentary is on Thursday, March 2 at 7:30 p.m. at Patriot Hanover Theaters.
Norwell High School Empty Bowls Fundraiser, March 22
Norwell Farms Annual Meeting, Tuesday, March 28, 7 p.m. at The Quarry
The More You Know
Chickens Are Actually Pretty Smart
They can count, show some level of self-awareness, and even manipulate one another by Machiavellian means. In fact, chickens are so smart that even a limited amount of exposure to the living birds can crush longstanding preconceptions....