It has been wonderful to see so much activity and growth at the farm in July! The leadership and high school interns have been working hard alongside Just Roots staff planting, harvesting, weeding, and rock picking on the farm and the education site. Shelly has been working hard in the Food for All Garden; see volunteer opportunities below if you are interested! The community garden plots look beautiful and productive, and the bees are busy. There are tomatoes, beans and other treasures to look forward to in August.
I was happy to be able to talk to three of the summer interns about their experiences working on the farm this summer. They all spoke very positively about the farm work and workshops. Will Borcy was disappointed that the rocks they have been picking out of the fields weren’t larger. “I thought we would be picking up big rocks, ones we would all have to pull out together.” While the rocks aren’t boulders, Will remained upbeat about the work, finding it rewarding nonetheless! He looks forward to the satisfaction of sharing produce he has grown with others. Colman Lee was excited to learn how to use a scythe, which he has used to clear out the tall weeds growing in various sites, and to harvest oats in the medicine garden. When asked what has surprised him about the internship, Colman revealed that he only recently discovered the vegetable Kohlrabi. Since discovering the brassica he says “looks like an extraterrestrial,” he has also acquired a new nickname around the farm, “Colman Rabi,” pronounced with a distinct pirate dialect. My interview with intern Unique Harris is included here titled, “The Experience of Being Here,” and well worth the read. See the Bygone Days article below for photos of the barn and town farm home from the 1920s.
Thanks to Education Coordinator Annie Burdett, there are also some really exciting workshops scheduled over the next few months on a range of fascinating topics. Hope to see you there!
—Jane Goodale, Editor
Upcoming Events and Workshops Save the date...
We’re planning a Fall Farm Festival for 3-7pm on Sunday, September 15, 2013. There will be a farm tour (see all the growth!), workshops, farm projects, a potluck meal, and a campfire. Please come, and bring your friends.
Mark your calendar for these free workshops offered at the Greenfield Community Farm:
- Nature Walk and Local Ecology with Ted Watt
Sunday, 8/11, 9-11am
- Weed Dating @ Greenfield Community Farm
Friday, 8/16, 6:30-8:30pm
- Wild Edibles Plant Walk with Felix Lufkin
- Parade to the Franklin County Fair
Thursday, 9/5, meet at 4:30pm
Bring a garden tool—rake, hoe, etc—and march with Just Roots!
- Herbal First Aid with Anne Louise Burdett
- Fermentation and Food Preservation with Brittany Nickerson
- Wild Edibles Plant Walk with Felix Lufkin
- Kitchen Medicine with Jade Alicandro
Volunteer OpportunitiesThere are a number of short- and long-term opportunities for volunteer fieldwork at the farm—rock removal, path-making, weeding, mowing/scything, harvesting, and delivering produce donations to the food pantry and community café. Hours are flexible. To lend a hand, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 413.376.8333.
Community Event: Belly Bus Food Drive
Friday, August 9, 3-5pm, Greenfield Town Common
Requested Items: Canned Fruits, Peanut Butter and Jelly, Beef Stew, Pasta & Pasta Sauces, Fruit Juice, Canned Soup, Tuna, Macaroni & Cheese, Baked Beans, Diapers, Baby Food & Cereal, Baby Formula, Cereal, Beef Ravioli, Laundry Detergent
Donations will be distributed to local families by the Greenfield Hunger Task Force (see poster).
Recipe: Lemony Kale
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest (using a vegetable peeler, peel lemon in thin pieces, then chop slices up)
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 8 cups coarsely chopped kale, ribs removed
- 1/2 cup shaved Parmesan cheese (you could use goat cheese)
- 1/3 cup toasted blanched hazelnuts, coarsely chopped (you could roast some pumpkin seeds or nuts)
- Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
- In a large bowl, whisk together lemon zest, lemon juice, and olive oil until well combined.
- Add kale and toss to coat.
- Add Parmesan and hazelnuts; season with salt and pepper.
- Toss before serving.
Bygone Days at Greenfield’s Poor Farm: What's in a Name?
by Paul Berman and Andy Grant
Researching the farm history can be complicated by language changes from year to year. For example, the Root Farm in 1925 is called a “town farm,” but by 1927 in the selectmen minutes it is referred to as the “town home.” At the beginning of 1929, the selectmen voted that “hereafter our Department will be the Board of Public Welfare and the town home will be the town infirmary.” To add to the confusion, the “town infirmary” consisted of the almshouse and the barn with an operating farm. Pictures of these two structures can be seen below, circa 1920.