Newton Conservators logo fall photo of Sawmill Brook
 
 

Angino Community Farm is Ready to Go!

Thanks to all those who supported the city's acquisition of Angino Farm. We pass along this information from Newton Community Farm which will be operating the farm under arrangement with the city. Shares are now available under the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) model. 

Three years ago Newton citizens had the vision to preserve the historic Angino farm from development and to reopen it as a community farm for the benefit of Newton residents. A new non-profit organization, Newton Community Farm, Inc. (NCF), was established to raise funds and operate the farm. With the continued support of Newton residents, NCF is confident that we will fulfill our mission to:

  • Preserve Newton's last farm as an active agricultural site
  • Grow and provide organic produce to Newton residents
  • Model and teach sustainable agricultural and environmental practices
  • Achieve financial viability and independence from city funds

Working with the City’s Angino Farm Commission, we have recently made significant progress in turning the vision of a community farm into a reality. We have signed a contract with the City to operate the farm and we have hired a farmer. We are working with the City and the Green Decade Coalition to make the buildings habitable and energy efficient; we are collaborating with the Recreation Department and local schools to develop educational programs for children and adults; and we are fundraising to allow all this to happen. 

Help to launch the farm on a sound financial footing by subscribe to pre-purchase produce for 2006. We invite you to purchase produce through our Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program. By agreeing to pre-pay for a portion of our crops, you will be helping the Newton Angino Community Farm achieve the financial independence that the City requires. In exchange, you will receive a weekly allotment of delicious fresh produce grown using organic practices.

Panoramic view

Much of the produce distributed through the CSA will be grown on-site, with an emphasis on vegetables that are tender and do not travel or store easily – salad makings, tomatoes, herbs, and greens. To provide the full spectrum of produce, certain items such as corn and winter squash which require more space than our modest site allows will be brought in from one or more local partner organic farms.

We anticipate providing a weekly produce allotment for 20 weeks, from early June through mid-October. We will have several pickup times each week. Under typical conditions, portions are calculated to provide amply for a family of four. However, in purchasing a CSA portion, it is important to remember that you are sharing in the bounty of the garden as well as in the risk. Production is always weather-dependent and the first year adds an additional degree of uncertainty. Although we are confident that, with supplements from our partner farms, produce allotments will be substantial, the pre-purchase of produce is more than an opportunity to obtain outstanding produce—it is an opportunity to invest in this start-up non-profit community farm, and help to assure our success. 

If a full portion is too large, we recommend that prospective subscribers arrange to split portions with friends or neighbors. Another alternative is to donate a half or full portion to a local shelter or meal program. NCF will make all the arrangements to have the produce delivered to people in need. In addition, extra produce not picked up, sold on site, or at the farmer’s market will be donated to these programs by NCF.

What is the cost of a CSA portion for 2006?

The cost is $500 plus an 8-hour work commitment to support the farm operations. This amount is less than most CSA’s in the Boston area, but this is our first year with all its uncertainties. The work commitment is our way of developing a sense of community and identification with the farm, and fostering opportunities for education. Many CSA supporters at other community farms find the work opportunity particularly rewarding.

How do I sign up for a CSA portion?

To subscribe to our CSA, please fill out the enclosed application and mail it back with your check for $500 made out to Newton Community Farm - CSA. If necessary, payment may be made in two installments: $275 due with the application and a second payment of $225 due by June 1st

Applications will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis upon receipt of your complete application and check. Newton residents will receive first priority. After March 30th, 2006, remaining shares will be offered to non-Newton residence on a lottery basis.

Will there be other opportunities to purchase produce and enjoy the benefits of the community farm?

Newton Community Farm is committed to making produce widely available to Newton residents, whether or not they are willing or able to participate in the pre-sale program. Produce will be sold at an on-site farm stand, as well as at the City-run California Street Farmer’s Market. We are also exploring other venues. In addition, the farm site will be open to the public, and educational programming will be developed for people of all ages. There will also be opportunities to participate in special events such as our fall harvest festival.

Can I support the farm without purchasing a CSA portion?

Yes! For a tax-deductible contribution of $25 or more you can become a member of Newton Community Farm and receive our monthly e-mail Newsletter, Newton Farmer. (CSA subscribers and recent contributors to our end of year fundraising appeal are automatically members.)

We also need volunteers for this project to blossom into a vibrant agricultural and educational center for our community. This farm belongs to Newton residents. We invite you to come and get your hands dirty! And if you have experience or skills in the areas needed (or you’re willing to learn), come and be part of this great community of growers. Please fill out an application indicating your area of interest or email Rebekah Smillie at rsmillie(AT)rcn.com. You can visit our website  for applications and information.

We need volunteers in the following areas:

• Digging

• Public relations

• Fundraising

• Educational programs

• Planting

• Website development

• Weeding

• Administration

• Graphic design

• Washing

• Manning farm stands

• Desktop publishing

• Picking

• Organizing volunteers

• Bagging

• Maintenance (painting, carpentry, plumbing)

• Grant writing

 

Please join us in our groundbreaking year. Consider purchasing a CSA portion, volunteering, or providing critical financial assistance to Newton’s non-profit community farm. We are dedicated to providing delicious, locally-grown, organic produce.

Thank you for your support!

March 2006

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