Welcome! The farm may be under snow, but we are working overtime getting things growing for 2017. The greenhouse is being prepped to start seeding in February, education staff is being hired for Farm Days & Story Time, and workshops and community events are being scheduled.
Without further ado, please enjoy reading all about our plans for 2017!
2017 Farm Education Programs
We are thrilled to announce a few of our Farm Education Programs for this year. Enrollment for many of the programs will begin February 1st for Friends of the Farm and March 1st for the general public. Here is just a sampling of what to expect this year. We have even more programs in the planning stage, so stay tuned!
Summer Farm Days
Farm Days is growing this year. Our hands-on, elementary age, summer program will increase from a 2-day program to 3-day program, from 9 a.m. to 12 noon. We will be offering 5 sessions in June & July. Farm Days are offered to children entering Kindergarten to 5th grade. We are thrilled to continue the Counselor-In-Training (CIT) volunteer program for 7th to 12th graders this year.
Enrollment will be limited to 12 children per session.
Our popular, fun pre-school farm Story Time is back. Come meet the chickens, taste some veggies, and explore our learning gardens. Story Time will begin in April and run weekly though the growing season. This class is suitable for pre-school aged children who are accompanied by a guardian.
NEW! Starting in Spring 2017, we will offer a 6-week, hands-on program that involves Kindergarteners in our everyday farming operations - from taking care of the animals to starting seeds and transplanting seedlings into the vegetable garden. The program will meet for 1 hour each week.
Enrollment will be limited to 8 children per session.
Cost: $60/child ($50/child for 2017 Friends of the Farm)
NEW! Calling all budding homesteaders! Meet us at the farm every week (April 1 through June). Little ones can help with farm chores, care for the animals, learn some homesteading skills, make a craft or read a story.
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 do farmers do in the off-season? The short answer is that there is never really any “down time!” Even when the days are short and gray and the ground is frozen, we are actively preparing for the upcoming year.
At the farm, we work to repair all of the tractors and equipment so they function properly when we need them the most. We wash the tractors, change the fluids and filters, and tighten up bolts that might have worked their way loose last season. We inventory our tractor attachments, purchase new parts, and make a wish list of upgrades that will help our farm operate more efficiently during the season. We clean and sanitize the propagation greenhouse, test the heaters and fill the propane tanks, so we are ready to seed our first crops at the beginning of February. Lastly, we organize our workshop space, clean and sanitize our walk-in coolers, and inventory field supplies (harvest containers, rubber bands, field knives etc.) so we can begin the 2017 season with a clean, fresh start!
Our work does not end outside though. On days where it’s too cold to turn a wrench on the tractor, we keep busy in the farm office. We get track the results of the previous season, update budgets, forecast cash flow, and finalize the greenhouse and crop plan. We interview and hire seasonal employees, purchase seeds from certified organic vendors, and plan for farmers markets.
The work that we do now helps set the farm up for a successful growing season (weather be darned!) Farming is not just planting seeds and waiting. It is a delicate balance of record keeping, learning from the previous season(s), planning, budgeting, and purchasing supplies, all before we even plant the first seed!
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!
Thank you! The wonderful South Shore community expressed enough interest in seeing Seed: The Untold Story, that the screening in now confirmed with Patriot Cinemas in Hanover. We are so excited to see the award winning documentary Thursday, February 9 at 7:30 p.m.!
4-H is up and running at Norwell Farms. The inaugural meeting is scheduled for late January. For those who have expressed interest in 4-H, you should have received an email from Charlie about the club and upcoming meeting.
Due to the overwhelming interest, the program is currently at capacity. If you are interested in joining 4-H please contact Merrie@NorwellFarms.org or Charlie@NorwellFarms.org to receive more information and be placed on the wait list.
Congratulations are also due to Charlie! Charlie was recipient of the Outstanding Junior Leader award at the Plymouth County 4-H Awards Ceremony for 2016.
We would like to welcome three new board members to the Norwell Farms organization--DeeDee Tobias, Mari Creatini & Jamie Parda.
DeeDee resides in Norwell with her husband, 2 young kids, and old bulldog Caesar. She is a nutrition and public health researcher in Boston, and is excited to be a part of a great community farm with a mission to help put healthy foods on everyone's dinner table.
Mari works as an Estimator in the construction industry. She has started an office CSA program, formed a nonprofit competitive coed field hockey league and is on the Advisory Committee for the Newton North HS Carpentry program (with which she has traveled to New Orleans to help rebuild the Lower 9th). Mari has her Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) and is pursuing an Advanced PDC. She is a graduate of Northeastern University's architecture program and now lives in Norwell with her fiance CJ and English Shepherd Kenzi.
Jamie grew up in a small farming town in New Hampshire. She now resides in Rockland with her fiance and is a member of the Town of Rockland Finance Committee. Jamie has an M.B.A. and works full-time in the finance industry.
In addition to the new board members, Nikki Bartley is stepping down as Farm Director to focus more on her business, Cross Street Flower Farm. But she's not going far, Nikki will remain an active presence at Norwell Farms as a board member. Congratulations Nikki on the success of your flower farm!
Hilary Desmond will assume the position of Farm Director. Hilary has been active at Norwell Farms this past year as our Community & Outreach Director. Hilary comes from a background of education and business and has been active in homesteading and organic farming since moving to Norwell four years ago with her husband and children.
According to Joseph Merritt, author of A History of South Scituate-Norwell, the word “Assinippi” is a Wompanoag Indian term meaning “rocky water.” Merritt explained that the Assinippi area, is home to the Jacobs, Farrar, Collamore, Simmons, Curtis, Damon, Briggs, Grose, and Loring families—who have lived there for generations. Read on for more history of Jacobs Homestead-->>
Mass. named a leader in farm-to-consumer sales.
A recent federal survey shows Massachusetts as a leader in sales of food products sold directly by farmers to consumers.
The state ranks fifth nationally in direct-to-consumer sales from farms, with $136 million in sales in 2015 from farmers markets, farm stands, community-supported agriculture (CSA) operations, and other farmer-run retail outlets, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s 2015 Local Food Marketing Practices Survey says. more-->>