This neighborhood farm supports the community while growing local, organic foods.
Editor’s note: this article ran in the March 13, 2015 issue of the Plympton-Halifax Express.
Despite the cold and snow out our windows preparations are ongoing at the Colchester Neighborhood Farm as they watch for warmer weather and the arrival of their baby goats.
Farming is a year round trade with an indoor start as seedlings get their beginnings over the winter months. There may be a misconception about farming as there is no commencement or completion to their daily chores although they have specific times they harvest crops there is a list of daily tasks to keep things successful.
MaryAnn Martinez Farm Manager at Colchester Neighborhood Farm (CNF) located at 90 Brook Street said the farm is as busy as usual getting things set for spring planting, which has been on hold as the snow slowly melts.
“March 9 of last year we were planting leeks. The fields will have to dry out to get the tractors out in the beds. This season looks a little more compressed as we will be starting a bit later in planting,”said Martinez.
On a recent visit the greenhouse projects were underway as Matt Bold and his five co-workers were each working at a station. Bold is a Whitman Hanson graduate and an adult resident of New England Villages of Pembroke. He was painting and lettering wood tiles that will be displayed to identify herbs and other field vegetation. Another employee was roping pole bean towers, which will help the vegetable to vine itself.
The first CSA share is set for June along with the opening of the farm stand. The family owned non -profit is set on eight acres and is Baystate Certified Organic.
There will be weekend plant sales, which will begin in early May. Customers will be allowed to cut their own or purchase fresh flower bouquets in early summer, and the farm also holds egg shares.
Martinez has doubled her planting space to two acres. The land is not easily cultivated so the additional plots are exceptional.
The Colchester Neighborhood Farm has a unique value proposition. The goal is not only to be a neighborhood farm but also a social enterprise. We hope to be able to meet the need for locally sourced foods, provide meaningful work for adults with developmental disabilities and strengthen the local community, according to their mission statement.
The Barrows family has owned the property for 200 years, which makes it a National Bicentennial Farm.
Martinez invited people to stop by the farm when the snow melts and the warm weather approaches.
Families are welcome to visit the baby goats and chickens, she said.
Dapple the Donkey is their resident character who is bound to evoke laughter with her quirky, outgoing personality.
New England Villages enable adults living with intellectual disabilities to experience dignified, enriching lives as part of a dynamic, supportive campus community and through participation in meaningful day programming.
New England Village decided to pursue a venture into the farming industry in response to the decline in statewide manufacturing jobs that had previously provided work for its employment program. The Village also operates a cleaning and landscaping business, according to their mission statement and website.
For further information on donating to the farm, share forms and ordering or becoming a volunteer, visit http://www.colchesterneigh