Conservators Annual Dinner Meeting
May 30, 2007
Farming Comes Alive
Newton calls itself the “Garden City.” More than anyone in recent years, Greg Maslowe has helped the city live up to its name. Greg is the resident farmer at the Newton Angino Community Farm. Greg performs multiple tasks: raising a family, running the farm, overseeing the army of volunteers who help cultivate the farm’s produce, and working as an educator for school groups that visit and learn. Greg is not your ordinary farmer: he is at work on a doctorate at Boston University. He is literate, articulate, and unafraid to get his hands dirty. Greg was the keynote speaker at the Conservators’ annual dinner on May 30.
Greg’s topic was the backyard garden. He noted that a large space is not required for productive use, but there needs to be judicious use of space, including the choice of trees and shrubs. As an example, why not choose a pear tree that not only blooms but that also produces fruit for human use, instead of a dogwood that may be pretty but, for us, less edible?
Greg showed slides of back yards in Newton that have optimized their growing areas and produce bountiful crops. Many had a grape arbor on a wall or terraced attachment. Greg advocated planting perennials that may serve as food and also a hedge.
Greg also showed slides of the Newton Angino Community Farm operation in its first year. Greg made a “play house” for his children from green beans on a matrix structure. The play house served a dual function, with Greg’s wife, Jessica, harvesting beans for dinner.
Greg grew up in Colorado and told the group that he learned his gardening skills from his mother. The family maintained a mulch pile that was used as fertilizer before planting. Fresh vegetables were available much of the year. Greg’s taste for quality produce prompted his choice of a farming career. After completing his doctorate, Greg will continue at the farm.
Watch Greg's talk on video: Part 1 Part 2
Thanks to Newtonville Camera for their technical support of photographic presentations at the Conservators annual dinners.