It's amazing to think we are just a few weeks away from a new year. 2016 went by quickly and was full of highs and some lows.
The good: This year we were able to expand our education offerings. We hired two farm educators who ran six summer farm days sessions, preschool story times and various workshops. We hosted field trips from a variety of groups, aged preschool to adult. We also arranged weekly deliveries of produce to the Norwell Food Pantry and provided 4 at-risk families with CSA Shares.
The Norwell Farms CSA increased this year and was able to offer 165 Summer Shares and 65 Fall Shares. In addition, we operated the farm stand five days a week and participated in the Marshfield and Braintree Farmers Markets. It was more work but we were able to hire extra local staff for both manning the markets and farming in the fields.
The bad: The drought was awful. Historically New England receives a steady 3 inches of rain a month, and this is what is expected when planning crops for the growing season. This year, we received only about 1 inch of rain in June, July & August which lead to long, stressful days of scrambling to save crops and required us to rethink our plantings. We are one of the lucky farms, many farms in New England went out of business this year due to the unpredictability of the weather. Rainfall has increased dramatically since summer and we have produced record fall crops, but water tables still remain low.
Local wildlife has also been increasingly desperate due to the drought. This led to an attack on our farm chickens and, sadly, we lost a few of them. The remaining hens have been rehomed to safer quarters for the winter while we assess and repair the areas of our coop to ensure no further break-ins.
Overall, farming is very much like life. There is good and there is bad. When the bad happens, it's hard, but you assess the situation, fix what you can and carry on. We don't know what 2017 will bring us, but we will keep farming and keep learning. We hope that you will continue to support us and join us on this journey.
Give the Gift of Farming
Are you looking for a unique gift for that farm lover? Consider gifting a Friend of the Farm 2017 membership.
Make a tax deductible donation of $50 or more today to Norwell Farms and your family will enjoy these benefits in 2017:
$15 off our Farm Days Summer Program
Automatic entry in a lottery to win two free tickets to our 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.
Glyphosate residue, the herbicide used in common weedkillers such as RoundUp, has been found in cookies, crackers, popular cold cereals and chips commonly consumed by children and adults.
"Frankly, such a high level of glyphosate contamination found in Cheerios, Doritos, Oreos and Stacy's Pita Chips are alarming and should be a wake-up call for any parent trying to feed their children safe, healthy and non-toxic food," Dave Murphy, executive director of Food Democracy Now!," said. more-->>
Bayer Ordered to Pay Fine Over Deceptive Advertising
“Bayer made numerous misleading claims to consumers about the safety of its pesticide products, including falsely advertising that they were similar to giving ‘a daily vitamin’ to plants, when in fact, they are highly toxic to honey bees and other pollinators in the environment,” said AG Healey. more-->>
Norwell Farms CSA and Pokatimus have partnered again to bring you organically raised, high quality pork. Our six pigs were raised in the forests of Norwell, free to forage on roots and fall acorns. They ate a certified organic, non-GMO grain mix to supplement their natural diets.
The pork has arrived in time for the holidays! Pre-order your organic bacon, pork chops, sausage or more today to make sure you get what you like!
WHAT IS A CSA?
Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is a great way to support local agriculture. A CSA member buys a "farm share" up front and gets direct access to high quality, fresh produce grown locally, often harvested the same day at the farm where you pick up your share.
Much produce in stores travels 1,500 to 3,000 miles to get to the shelf and may be weeks if not months old. CSAs support the local farmer and in return you both assume the risk but reap the rewards, including more nutritious produce, of the farmer's bounty.
For the month of December only, Farmer Scott is offering 2017 CSA Shares at 2016 prices.
Norwell Farms is excited to bring the award winning documentary SEED: The Untold Story at the Patriot Cinemas at Hanover Mall on Thursday, February 9 at 7:30 p.m.!
We hope you can join us for this inspiring event in the fight for seed change! If you've been planning on going but haven't bought your tickets yet, purchase them soon so we can guarantee the screening will be brought to Hanover.
Calling all kids (ages 8-18) interested in science and farm animals! There is a new 4-H Club forming that will be based at Norwell Farms. Interested in joining? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
WHAT IS 4-H?
4-H is the world's largest youth development program. We teach boys and girls life skills through the use of science and livestock. We also work on leadership projects, community service projects, public speaking skills and record keeping skills.
When we held our Is Beekeeping For You? workshop this past August, one of the main things we emphasized was enrolling in bee school. Well, now is the time to do that!
There many bee schools in our area. Most bee schools are run by county beekeepers association and run for 6+ weeks over the winter. They usually include a course book and a year membership to the beekeepers association. While bee school is not a requirement to keep bees, it is highly recommended as it offers hands-on learning, mentorship and priority to ordering bee packages. Here are some local bee clubs that offer bee school.