- Thomas Tusser, A Hundred Good Points of Husbandry, 1557
We made it through the winter! March was a very busy month. The greenhouse is packed from front to back with seedlings, and more are being sown daily. Also, our new baby chicks arrived. They are being kept safe and warm inside, and they desperately need names!
We start off April just as busy. On April 1st there will be two workshops taught by Norwell Farms, and then it just continues with more workshops, a kick-off volunteer day, and the start of Story Time and Little Homesteaders.
There's a lot happening in April! Enjoy!
Welcome Our New Additions!
Since the coop on the farm needed some maintenance, we resettled our older chickens to homes in Norwell over winter. They are all happy in their new homes, so we took this opportunity to get a variety of new chicks for our farm education programs. We picked up our new baby chicks last week and have them all settled in their heated brooder.
Are you interested in learning more about chickens?
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 1: Seed Starting to Transplant
Whether you have a small home plot or a large garden for profit, it is rewarding and cost effective to grow your own seedlings. The first half of the workshop will be in the classroom learning about seed selection, materials, tools and basic goals to successful growing. The pros and cons of using soil blocks, various seed trays, starting mixes, seeding tools, germination, pest and disease mitigation, transplant timing will also be covered. During the hands-on portion of the class, participants will plant various seeds with these methods and tools. Participants may bring their own seeds if desired. Workshop is taught by Scott Franklin and will be held at the Marshfield Fairgrounds
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 and first aid, and everyday care.
Join a farm educator for a story and walk around the farm (PreK with an adult). More information
Little ones will help with farm chores, care for the animals, plant some vegetables, and more (PreK with an adult). More information
6-week, hands-on program that involves Kindergartners in our everyday farming operations (Kindergarten). More information
Join Us for Kick-Off Volunteer Day 2017
It's that time of year when we can start scheduling volunteer days at Norwell Farms. We are starting with a kick-off event on Saturday, April 29 from 9:00am - 11:00am, when we will be all about clean-up! We will focus on the area behind the barns to create a gathering area and outdoor classroom. There will be lots of weeding, setting up picnic tables, perhaps some carpentry, and some planting. Be sure to bring work gloves, water, sunscreen, and any pruning or gardening tools if you have them.
To RSVP for this event, or for more information about volunteer opportunities, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Around Norwell Farms
Local photographer, Neal Skorka (www.nealski.com), is creating a photographic story of a year of farming: from seeding in the late winter to final harvest in the fall. These are some of the beautiful photos he took during March, capturing the busy time of seeding in the greenhouse.
Update from Farmer Scott
Spring has been in the air at the farm but March may not go “out like a lamb,” with a few inches of snow slated for the first few days of April. No matter, however, the first few weeks of April mark the official planting season at Norwell Farms!
After planning, cleaning, organizing, and fixing any and everything on the farm, warm April days lend themselves to frenzied farmers spreading compost and limestone, turning over the soil, and planting and seeding like crazy. Onions, kale, broccoli, collards, Swiss chard, lettuce, peas, cabbage and more will all be making their way out of the heated greenhouse and into the cool, damp soil. We will also direct sow cool weather crops like carrots, turnips, cilantro, peas, and beans as soon as possible.
All of this early spring work means that now is the time to sign up for a CSA share at the farm! The Summer Shares are drawing closer and we only have a few dozen spots left. Help us get there by spreading the good word to your friends and neighbors and send them to http://www.norwellfarms.com/shares/ for more information.
As a CSA member once told me, “keep your friends close and your farmers closer”!
In addition, please keep an eye on your emails for a pre-order form for all of your spring gardening/seeds/seedling needs. Get your garden off to a strong start with organically grown seedlings from Norwell Farms. Send in your order form and your plants will be ready to pick up at the farm in the middle of May!
You may have noticed that we offer great discounts and early registration to our education programs for 2017 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.
Lean Farming: Fueling the farm-to-table movement, with lessons from Toyota
MONTAGUE — On a quiet February afternoon, Ryan Voiland wandered through the mid-winter muck on his farm, pushed open the door to his barn, and found himself awash in a bounty of lettuce. All around him, farmhands scooped and sprayed leafy greens just plucked from his greenhouses, before drying and stuffing them into plastic baggies.
The scene was anything but efficient. The washing bins were too far apart, the farmhands forced to walk the produce from one bin to the next, switching out washing bins as they went.
But for Voiland, there was opportunity in the chaos...