News and blog
(Yes, you can still get a Spring Share...complete the form here, or email Katie).
First week's share:
~ Spinach: Sautee with eggs and cheese for a yummy breakfast or
~ Baby Arugula: perfect for a salad that will please everyone
~ Leek: Last chance for potato leek soup, great for one of those rainy days
~ Your choice of whole grain wheat or whole grain dent corn from our neighbor, Chris Yoder, of Vanguarden Farm.
Egg Shares and Mushrooms shares begin for Spring.
And, come meet Carolyn Manning fromC&C Lobster & Fish out of Hull, who will be bringing the day's freshest fish to MCF for your convenient purchase every Thursday. Everyone welcome, and you can always call her ahead and place a specific order for pickup!
Medway Community Farm: Growing Plants & People
2017 is busy throwing snow on the early daffodil shoots but there are happy shoots and sprouts galore at the Medway Community Farm seedling greenhouse. Overseen by MCF’s new Farm Manager, Katie Bekel, and guided by new Assistant Farm Manager, Josh Raser, volunteers are filling up the seed trays and every surface is beginning to green-up with new growth. Soon the seedlings will move into the hoop and high tunnel greenhouses and grow ready for the Spring Share kick-off pickup date on April 25th.
Growth is a powerful symbol of so much at MCF, including Katie, herself. She and the farm thrived despite the drought during in her 2016 season at MCF, under the wise tutelage of Kevin Overshiner, readying her for Manager. The MCF Board of Directors are pleased to have her step into the lead role, and to remain with our community.
Another new development in staff and success is the appointment of Alison Dempsey as the Medway Community Farm Education Coordinator. This is an especially exciting step for our present and future, creating a stronger foundation and enhanced programming for the second of MCF’s Food, Education, and Community, three-part mission. Look for Alison’s energetic and enthusiastic lead, at the schools, the farm, events, and classes.
News from the MCF Board of Directors includes Don Franzen stepping up as President, and Melissa Kelley continues as Clerk. Julie Infanger is Interim Treasurer during our ongoing search. Candidates with Quickbooks skills and a commitment to MCF’s non-profit mission success are encouraged to apply. Other BoD members are Marcia Coakley, and Devon Reed.
At the farm stand this season along with Vegetable Shares and For Sale items, various add-on Shares are back. Check out the return of Pumpkin Farm Egg Shares; Bushel & Crumb Pie Shares; and Fat Moon Mushroom Shares; These are pre-ordered, and pre-paid Shares, so make your registrations.
Hot news at the farmstand this season is Thursday Fresh Fish! Carolyn Manning from C and C Lobster and Fish out of Hull
will be at the Farm every Thursday to bring mixed day’s catch for sale. Pre-orders are also welcome, so give them a call. Come get the freshest fish beginning Thursday the 27th.
Want to know more about Shares at the Farm? Visit our website: medwaycf.org Spring, Summer (Partial or Full), and Fall Shares are still available (as well as those super fresh eggs, mushrooms, pies).
YOU are the community in MCF, and we hope that in 2017 you will be: a Share Member; a work or event volunteer; a donor/supporter; a walking tour visitor; a student gardener; a community plot gardener; a farm stand customer; Medway Farmer’s Market MCF customer; an event attendee (Farm-to-Fork Dinner or Fall Festival); or a MCF education program participant (summer weeks or single classes). See you at Medway Community Farm. Information about Shares and Updates:
medwaycommunityfarm.org OR medwaycf.org
Amazon is celebrating its #1 ranking in customer satisfaction by the ACSI! Today, March 16, Amazon will donate 5% (10 times the usual donation rate) of the price of your eligible AmazonSmile purchases to Medway Community Farm Inc.
Get started at smile.amazon.com/ch/30-0516241
February 24th 2017 is National CSA Day!
It's a day to encourage others and ourselves to think deeply about the CSA model and how it can be used as a tool support local farmers, sustain local economies and keep our communities healthy and thriving. And encourage friends, family, and community members to consider supporting a CSA this year!
If you're still confused about how a CSA works-read our primer here!
We like to think of the CSA as the backbone of the farm. Our members, are really just another aspect of the farm ecosystem. As a community-based farm, we were founded by a group of citizens that saw the value in preserving local farmland and wanted to foster connections to the land for future generations. We strive to meet the highest quality standards for our members, and provide the freshest produce, above and beyond what could ever be shipped in to the grocery store.
Thank you to all our supporters, because of you we can keep this valuable resource in our community!
Sign up for a CSA today! By being a member of a CSA you are supporting:
- Land preservation
- Local economy
- A stronger sense of community
- Educational opportunities for kids & adults
- Access to Fresh FOOD!
- Cleaner & Healthier environment
- Soil regeneration
- AND SO MUCH MORE!
Read more about our CSA options & sign up here
2017 CSA Share sign ups OPEN
Summer Full and Partial shares run 16-weeks from mid-June
Fall Share is 5-pickups over 10-weeks
Also, try out a Pick-Your-Own Veggie or Flower share.
This year we will be experimenting with strawberries!
All CSA Memberships include Friend of the Farm Benefits
*** CLICK HERE FOR 2017 SIGN UP FORM ***
CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture.
It is a model that creates a mutually beneficial relationship between local consumers and farmers. It helps farmers in ways that other conventional markets can't, by having customers become members of the farm that sign up and prepay before the growing season begins, ensuring a customer base for the farmer and funds to grow seedlings and plant them before the product is ready for sale. In turn, a CSA helps to preserve local farmland and supports community development by bringing people together and fostering a connection to the land.
Each week during the growing season CSA members are paid back for their investment in vegetables! CSA members benefit when the farm does well by receiving a greater value of produce over the course of the season than they paid at the beginning. Our goal is to give our members a 10-20% return on their investment for each CSA share. CSA members can look forward to the freshest veggies and get to enjoy the unique and delicious flavors of varieties that can't be found in the grocery store all while supporting their local economy.
For answers to frequently asked questions, click here
UPDATE: position filled. Welcome to Alison Dempsey. Meet her making things happen around the farm, and look for her guiding our Education programming this year!
Thank you to everyone who helped connect great people with the Farm on our way to finding the best solution.
MCF Education Coordinator – Part Time Position
A wonderful opportunity for the right person interested in any, some, or all: food and agriculture, food education, outdoor education, community organizing, and not-for-profit organization development.
This role has responsibility for organization and facilitation of the current educational programs with Medway School's grades 2, 3, 4, and 6, also including Summer Programming at Medway Community Farm, and classes offered through Medway Community Education. This includes oversight and management of education dates, activities, materials purchases, and volunteer support, and development of potential new programs.
For further details see complete Posting here.
To apply, submit a cover letter and resume to Don Franzen: firstname.lastname@example.org. Cover letter should include your interest in the position, relevant skills and background. Interviews will be conducted with qualified applicants. Anticipated start date by February 15, 2017.
MCF provides equal opportunity employment and promotion to all qualified employees and applicants. No person shall be discriminated against in employment on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, age, national origin, marital status, disability, sexual orientation, veteran status or any other status or condition protected by applicable federal or state statutes.
As we reach the end of the CSA and the growing season we also reach completion for our 2016 Farm Manager, Kevin Overshiner.
Winter Wheat at light speed in honor of Rogue One
I was wary of how I would manage without Brittany to run the show, as you may know she left MCF at the end of last season after a successful but tumultuous run as the founding farmer. She had a monumental undertaking to start this farm on a shoe-string, while also building education programming and manufacturing the farm's image. She's taught me most of what I know about what we do, and maybe more importantly, about how to work hard. I am grateful for her support and mentorship, which has allowed me to run the farm in her absence.
MCF has grown up a lot since Brittany first started growing vegetables on these bare hay-fields in 2010. She did much of what we now use machinery for by hand, and without the infrastructure or land base we have now. She started with $5,000 of donated input and grew the organization to an annual budget of about $200,000 in just 5 years, while never running a deficit. Not bad. We owe a lot to her hard work and dedication to build the farm to the point where it can be passed on to a new wave of folks willing to take the baton.
The New Farm Stand at 50 Winthrop Street (rear)
Since she first broke ground, with her help we've managed to secure a lease at two additional fields, growing the acreage from 1.5 to 6 acres, grown the CSA from 100 to more than 250 families, established a relationship with Restaurant 45 on their weekly specials menu, reestablished the Medway Farmer's Market, donated $5000 of vegetables annually to the Medway Food Pantry, built or acquired all the farm infrastructure you've seen, and grown a lot of vegetables for us to munch on.
The New Walk in Cooler Under Construction
I will be leaving MCF at the end of December to join Brittany at Upswing Farm in Ashland, near the Ashland State Park. Though I have enjoyed piggy-backing on her success here at MCF, I feel I have ensured that MCF will be stable for the future, and it is time for me to commit to our family farm and ensure that we have a place in the community for a long time to come. We have a baby due in January and will be undertaking a daring attempt to preserve farmland that was previously destined for development at a price tag of $2.5 million. Woof.
We will be working closely with conservation groups and the towns of Ashland and Holliston (the property bridges both towns) to preserve the farmland originally cultivated by Charlie Nickerson of Out Post Farm, who still lives on site. The current owners of Out Post Farm chose to move to a different field down the street, so the fields were opened up to Brit. If you'd like to learn a little more about the farm, and keep in touch with us farmers, you can find us at Upswing Farm, or follow us on Facebook, and on Instagram @upswingfarm.
I wish MCF lots of luck in its future. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to serve the community and build a vegetable farm with Brittany. Thank you to all those who lent a hand or support along the way, you are appreciated and not forgotten. Remember to always support your local farms, they are an important cornerstone of the local economy, and their strength benefits us all. There are a lot of folks who live out here, so having more farms is a good thing, the saturation point is a long way away!"
– Kevin Overshiner
So long folks!
Katie Bekel, Assistant Farm Manager of 2016 Takes the Helm for 2017 as the Incoming MCF Farm Manager
You can contact Katie at email@example.com with any questions.
A Special Thank You to our Most Steadfast Volunteers
Katie managed the volunteer activity here at the farm this year and we take a moment to thank those volunteers who donated 10+ hours of their time to the farm in 2016.
Especial thanks to Jeanne Raffa, Nancy Ross, Lori Franzen, Maria Kempner, Sam Herren, Kelly Sabini, and Jenny Mendez-Isenburg. I hope we didn't forget anyone!
And thank you to everyone else who has contributed their time and efforts (in the dirt and elsewhere), in the farm stand, at events, at the schools and with our education programming at the farm, too. We can't do it without you. And thank you, too, for sharing the good word about us to your friends, and beyond. There are still folks in town who don't yet know about Medway Community Farm. Spread the news!
If you haven't yet made a final 2016 tax-deductible contribution to the Medway Community Farm Annual Appeal now is a wonderful time to make a huge difference in our farm and community's future.
"As our growing season comes to a close at Medway Community Farm, we’re sharing a few stories of farm and mission success to and through this year. Through your generosity, our mission continues to grow and our community continues to thrive. There is perhaps no better illustration of our remarkable success than the story of Mrs. Nash and her fourth-grade class..." Read More
Or Donate Now
More to Come in 2017
Keep in touch to learn more about what's to come with education programming, community events, and more in 2017.
As always, thank you for your support.
We look forward to sharing the 2017 season with you.
As our growing season comes to a close at Medway Community Farm, we’re sharing a few stories of farm and mission success to and through this year. Through your generosity, our mission continues to grow and our community continues to thrive. There is perhaps no better illustration of our remarkable success than the story of Mrs. Nash and her fourth-grade class.
Eight years ago LeeAnn Nash first brought her class of fourth-grade students to the newly established Medway Community Farm. On that first visit in the fall her students rented a 10x10 plot of land, and the following spring they planted a variety of organic vegetables that became a fresh and delicious salad they enjoyed at harvest.
A few years later, Mrs. Nash’s solo class was joined by two additional fourth grade classes and together they ran a Harvest Day farm stand. The following year there were four classes partnered with Medway Community Farm creating a cookbook and a farm library of stories written by students.
Today all eight of the fourth-grade classes in Medway visit the farm during the spring to plant, maintain the garden, and harvest. There are now classroom partnered garden plots at the Lower Elementary and Middle schools as well. This remarkable eight-year transformation has provided young students the opportunity to explore interests and discover passions in agriculture, science, and environmental studies. Students from Mrs. Nash’s original class are college students studying in environmental fields and active in their communities. More recent classes are now Medway High School students, many of whom are regular volunteers and summer staff contributing to the farm’s success. Needless to say, Mrs. Nash has been thrilled with the results:
"I love hands-on learning. It instills responsibility and cooperativeness in the children and provides them with a general sense of pride. They work hard physically and appreciate what it takes to grow food. In times where children don’t “go outside”, this is invaluable."
Emilie Infanger, 11, and her brother Alex, 13, have both experienced these hands-on learning opportunities as students working with Medway Community Farm, and to this day the impact continues to resonate. Emilie’s favorite part of working at the farm with Mrs. Nash is learning how to plant and take care of vegetables, while Alex has seen how learning with the school garden plots has supported his success in science classes, especially with plant biology.
Your generosity is vital to help us continue to build these transformative relationships between students, teachers, and Medway Community Farm. Today, we ask that you consider contributing your support for the first time, or renewing your generous past support so that we can sustain and expand our programs and broaden our reach into our community.
Thank you for your help in making this big impact a lasting legacy.
Don Franzen, Interim President, on behalf of the Board
Donate to Medway Community Farm: Giving Tuesday 2016
In honor of Giving Tuesday, we invite you to make a substantial and tangible impact on the future of the farm and in our community. On Tuesday, November 29, charities, families, businesses, community centers, and students around the world will come together for one common purpose: to celebrate and encourage giving.
Help us create our most successful #GivingTuesday.
Contribute to our Annual Appeal by making an online, tax-deductible, donation. Choose a level that works best for you right now.
$25.00 – provide a 128-plug flat of seedlings for student gardens
$50.00 – provide a family a week's vegetables donated to local Food Banks
$75.00 – provide staffing for our farm-to-school/school-to-farm programs
$120.00 – provide a summer program week to an area child
$500.00 – support Education Staff for 2nd/3rd/4th grades/summer programs
$______ – choose your own level of giving for the most impact possible
And ask your employer. Many organizations will match your donation, which would double your contribution and impact. Please check with them so that you may leverage every action to the fullest!
Thank you for everything that you do and give in support of our Mission.
Over two hundred people (all ages!) rode the hay rides with Farm Manager Kevin Overshiner and Assistant Farm Manager Katie Bekel taking turns at the wheel. Wow!
What a glorious Fall day! All enjoyed great activities, fun music with the always enjoyable Little Jed and the Phat Daddies from Millis, nature crafts, fabulous (professionally done) face painting, pony and mini-train rides (thank you to Newfound Farm from Holliston), honey from our Farm hives with Nancy Ann's Honey, gifts, snacks, and lots of veggies at our pop-up market.
Thinking about a Fall Share? There a few Thursday pick-up slots still available. Starts October 11th & 13th, with five pick-ups, every two weeks. Also Egg Shares, and Mushroom Shares (NEW!) available. Check it out. Click the link on the left!
Thank you for your support and we look forward to another year to come with our friends and neighbors visiting and helping move our Mission forward. Thank you also to all of the wonderful volunteers who made the day possible.
Save the date for the Medway Community Farm Fall Festival! MCF will be hosting our annual Fall Festival Sunday, September 25 with a variety of activities for children of all ages, including tractor and pony rides, crafts, races, face painting, as well as farm-grown produce, local treats, yummy specials from the Pangea Cuisine food truck, and other seasonal refreshments for purchase.
This is always a fun event and we hope you will join us! Tell your neighbors, bring your friends.
Soon the installation of our new, self-guided walking tour of the Farm will be complete and ready for you to stroll all around our main location. Each of the 15 stops along the way provides information about aspects of our community farm: the history of the Farm and education about our agricultural mission, resources, and practices are included. Check it out, beginning at the big sign near the Farm Stand.
See you this Sunday, on a beautiful Fall day.