"Surely as cometh the Winter, I know
There are Spring violets under the snow."
- R. H. Newell
The days are slowly getting longer even if the cold persists. We know Spring is right around the corner. The greenhouse is warming up and the farmers are starting to sow seeds. Schedules have been finalized for our farm programs and 2017 Friends of the Farm can start registering for programs. Everything is coming back to life and that is a great thing!
Spring & Summer Program Registration Now Open For 2017 Friends of the Farm
Friends of the Farm 2017 may now register for our Summer Farm Days, Story Time, Little Homesteaders and Farm Explorers programs.
Why You Should Sign Your Kids Up for Farming Programs:
Gardening as a Kid Indicates that You’ll Eat Fruits and Veggies as a College Student
Aside from the obvious benefits of getting outside and helping pull weeds, it turns out gardening as a kid may have benefits that are longer-lasting than you might expect.
A new study performed at the University of Florida sought to understand the connection between gardening as a kid and habits later in life—specifically, during the part of life when kids are most likely to eat gigantic plates of bad fried food... more-->>
Become a 2017 Friend of the Farm!
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.
What a wild ride 2016 was. We had a cooler than average spring followed by the driest summer on record since the early 1950’s. The USDA labeled Plymouth County a natural disaster area. Each farm’s weakness was exposed as a result of the drought which strained financial resources and tested the individual mettle of each and every farmer in the state. Farms without good access to water for irrigation closed their doors for good.
This season made me evaluate the shortcomings in our own business as well as highlight what we do well. For example, we continually improve the quality of our soil with crop rotation and compost but we struggle with weed control during the middle of the season when our labor resources are stretched thin. Ultimately, the farm is only as strong as our weakest link—as a result, we are continuing to invest in appropriate equipment that will help us successfully manage the wide variety of crops that we grow as well as hire experienced workers to help us operate and run this farm.
This season has also showed me our greatest strength: the CSA members. Not only are you pledging financial support before we grow a single crop, you are also pledging your support for what matters most; organically grown produce and our local community. Despite the tough growing season in 2016, I believe that we provided you with robust, diverse weekly shares. Each season, however, we strive to become better farmers and better listeners. I want to take your advice to heart in order to create a CSA program that reflects you and your needs. With that in mind, the following are a summary of your survey results and changes the farm is making in order to make this your farm and CSA share.
Staple, family-friendly crops: Expect more tomatoes, green beans, carrots, sweet potatoes, and salad toppers in 2017! These are examples of some of the most popular crops on the farm that you can expect week in and week out.
Larger quantity: Eat lots of meat and potatoes? This season, CSA members will be able to pick up bulk items of certain crops each week. That way, you have enough produce to make several meals with your favorite crop.
Green machine: Salad greens for weeks! Out of all of the responses we received, members love receiving weekly servings of greens. From arugula to head lettuce to spinach, we have you covered for all 16 weeks.
Recipe/Menu planning: Members are planners! Know what’s in each share the weekend before you receive it so you can plan your weekly menu and shop appropriately.
Choice: Choose your own destiny! Some of you love braising greens, some of you don’t. Choose half of your crops each week and have the ability to mix and match.
2017 Shares Available
Please check out our website: http://www.norwellfarms.com/shares/ for more information about our 2017 shares! This season, we are offering four distinct shares that give you the flexibility you need and value you want. Please feel free to email Farmer Scott at email@example.com with any questions!
The West Barn was the horse and carriage barn back in the day when the Jacobs family lived on the property. This little tack room in the barn offers a peek into the horse stalls and also has the stairs to access the hay loft.
The horses were treated quite well. George A. Turner, a first cousin of Henry Jacobs, devised a pulley system to load the hay into the loft of the barn and gravity fed feed pipes for providing grain for the horses. Electricity was also installed in the barns many years before it was installed at the house at Jacobs Homestead, leading to some discord according to the Turner Recollections of the Jacobs Farmhouse:
"With the exception of the barns, Jacobs Farm was without electric power until the 1930's. Aunt Tat recalled that Uncle Irving, the husband of Edith, my father's eldest sister, brought a[n electric] line from the big barn to the house so my grandmother would have a single, bare electric lamp for light in the kitchen. Dr. Jacobs noted this bit of gentle piracy by the Turners on one of his inspections. The hired hands were told to take it down. Norwell Historical Society papers in my possession extol virtues of Henry Jacobs that are at odds with the recollections of his less-favored cousins."
February 18th at the KITCHEN at the Boston Public Market
The KITCHEN at the Boston Public Market, Slow Food Boston, and the Northeast Organic Farming Association (NOFA) are jointly hosting the Urban Homesteading Festival on Saturday, February 18th to train Boston urbanites how to modify traditional homesteading techniques to work in an urban setting. The Festival will showcase five different topics: Beer Making, Mushroom Cultivation, Cheese Making, Herb Tinctures & Infusions, and Stocks & Bone Broths. Learn more about the conference-->>
Thank you to Absolute Delivery for safe delivery of our new-to-us chicken tractors.
It was a logistical puzzle trying to figure out how to get the chicken tractors from Natick to the farm -- they were too big for a car, would require multiple trips with a pickup. Then Absolute Delivery stepped in and said "We can help!" Thank you Stephen Sr. & Stephen Jr.
What is a chicken tractor?
A chicken tractor is a portable pen which you can move around your garden (or farm) to provide your chickens with a constant fresh supply of grass.
Why did we need chicken tractors when we already have a beautiful coop?
They work together! We can move the chicken tractors around to allow the chickens access to fresh grass, bugs (even ticks) while keeping them safe from predators and keeping them out of areas we don't want them to graze (such as the production fields).
The chickens will clear the land the tractor is on, which will help with weed control. Once an area is cleared, the tractor can be moved to another spot.
Tractors are also great as mini-hospitals for chickens if they are injured and need to be separated from the flock, as a quarantine area for new chickens to make sure they are healthy before integrating them with the flock, and just nice as a change of scenery so the chickens remain happy and healthy.