Newton Community Farm
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June 2016

Cool days, oven-hot days, then more cool days. This spring is a roller-coaster. It’s hard to know what to wear―probably layers for the cooler mornings that turn into warm or hot afternoons. Perhaps the plants are as confused as I am. I guess we’ll all, plants and people, adjust and, I hope, thrive.


Susan Tornheim 

Newsletter Editor

From the Farmer

White_blossoms_4_16.jpgAfter 10 years of faithful service to NCF, farm dog extraordinaire Casey passed away over Memorial Day weekend (I apologize, I put the wrong date on Facebook). She had been a loyal companion and a hard worker, helping keep the farm free of rodents, turkey, and deer. While she was wary of little kids (who tended to like to chase her around), she charmed most visitors to the farm.


Casey had her 15 minutes of fame early in her career at the farm, being featured in a clip on working dogs called “Who’s That Dog” in the PBS series Martha Speaks. You can see the clip here.


While we are, of course, very sad, it’s also been fun looking through our photo albums for old photos of Casey and watching the unedited version of the Martha Speaks clip. Not only did we get to see Casey in her prime, but we saw the farm and our kids as they were almost 10 years ago—truly a treat. My, how everything has changed.


The farm stand has been open since the end of April, but June really marks the beginning of the farming season. Not that we haven’t been working for the last four months getting ready, but June is when the CSA begins, the farm stand opens full time, and the farmers’ market commences. It’s when the field is completely full, and we begin the (very) challenging task of trying to find beds in which to plant crops each week. Oh, if only we had a farm twice the size!


It was certainly a wild spring, with rain followed by seemingly weeks on end of cool temperatures making growing conditions less than ideal. As a result we had to delay the start of the CSA for the first time, but as Farmer Dan said during a visit last week, “Things have a way of catching up.” That’s our hope—that despite so many crops going into the ground later than we’d planned and everything growing more slowly than normal thanks to the cold soil—that with the advent of warm weather and sunny days the delays will soon be forgotten and we’ll be overflowing with a bounty of produce.


By the time you read this we should have our new movable high tunnel built, covered, and planted. It’s been a slow process, but we’re excited to have this new addition to the farm. It’s always a bit shocking just how much faster crops grow when covered. And how much nicer the crop quality is. Our new high tunnel will house cherry tomatoes this summer: Sun Gold (everyone’s favorite); a new variety of red cherry called Sakura that we’ve heard very good things about; and Tomatoberries, a fun addition we’re trying out for the first time. We’ll also have slicing tomatoes in the old moveable tunnel, and for the first time we’re growing most of our eggplant in a high tunnel as well.


It’s planting season. And weeding season. And now harvest season, too. We’re as busy as ever, which makes me happy. I enjoy the frenzy of summer on the farm and seeing the field full of people. Preschoolers on a tour, volunteers working in the field, people stopping by on the weekends to visit the chickens—these are some of the many things that make NCF a community farm. Come for a visit or to do some work or to buy some produce. Come for one of our special events or one of Alison’s amazing classes. However it happens, get yourself to the farm this summer. It’s a little slice of bliss amidst the rush of life.


Greg Maslowe 




“In order to care for the world—from our backyards to the other side of the globe—we must first get to know and fall in love with it.” (Cultivating Joy and Wonder: Educating For Sustainability In Early Childhood Through Nature, Food and Community, Shelburne Farms, 2013)


This is exactly what education programs at Newton Community Farm strive to do. Join us this summer for Kids at the Farm: Summer 2016 and give your child the opportunity to “get to know and fall in love” with a unique part of their world. Spaces are filling up fast. For more information visit Kids at the Farm: Summer 2016.


Coming soon, our full list of fall programs for kids and families.


Did you know?
Newton Community Farm now offers summer internships both out in the field with our farm operations team and within our education program. Check out our multiple internship opportunities for high school students, as well as our new Education Intern Program for college-age students.


From the mouths of babes

Jamie, age seven, visited the farm this past month. It was a rainy, cold, and windy evening in the Learning Garden. Regardless, Jamie was keen to dig and was fascinated by the worms he found, as well as the spiders, toad, grubs, and ants he came across as he helped weed the teepee. As his visit came to an end, he turned to me and simply stated, “I think I will be a farmer when I grow up.”


Alison Scorer

Farm Educator/Coordinator


Dinner on the Farm 2016


NCF…Ten Years Old and Still Growing


Please join us for our annual Dinner on the Farm, where you can enjoy a beautiful evening with fantastic food, a gorgeous view of our fields, lovely music by the Dixie Butterhounds, and the company of others who share your love of your local community farm. As he has done for the last few years, Board Member and Chef Jon Orren will offer a delicious and inventive menu, prepared with the help of the culinary arts students at Newton South High School, using produce from the farm. And new this year, Chad and Sharon Burns of Farmstead Table will be treating us to dessert from the Farmstead Table kitchen.


Tuesday, July 19, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Friends of the Farm, $75; all others, $85. Your ticket will cover the cost of the dinner and an additional contribution to the NCF education programs. Please register here.


Seedling Sale a Huge Success!


Thanks to all for helping to make our annual Seedling Sale a success! We could not have done it without the volunteers who put out lawn signs, set up the plants, staffed the sale, and cleaned it all up. And, of course, we thank all the home gardeners who chose to buy their seedlings at Newton Community Farm and helped make it a great event. We hope your seedlings are all happy and healthy.










Summer Intern Program


Last call! Sign up for remaining spots in Newton Community Farm’s summer 2016 High School Student Intern Program.


We have a great crew of high-school students signed up to intern on the farm this summer, but we still have a few spots open for interested teens. Go to interns for more information about the program and to download application forms. Summer internships are unpaid opportunities for high-school-age youth to learn about organic and community farming in a fun, friendly environment. No experience is necessary, just a desire to learn and work hard. The minimum requirement for the internship is a two-week trial period (consecutive weeks), three days a week (Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday) from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. (with a short break at 10:00), with sessions starting July 5, July 19, August 2, and August 16. Interns are also welcome to bring lunch and then eat with the farm team from 12:30 to 1 p.m. After the trial period and with the agreement of the farm manager, interns can increase the number of weeks at the farm.


Volunteer Spotlight: Margaret Mallory

Back when the barn was still vinyl-sided, Margaret Mallory would drive by the farm on her way from her Newton Highlands home to teach English to Needham middle- and high-school students. She saw the farm in its beginning stages, watched as it grew, was intrigued, and stopped to photograph it.


Photography has been one of Margaret’s passions since she was a young girl in rural, central Pennsylvania. “I used to be glued to National Geographic,” she says. “From the get-go, I wanted to get out of our little town and see the world.” All over the home Margaret shares with her husband, Ken, are photographs they both have taken over years of traveling. Pictures from a trip to northern Kenya in the seventies, when she and Ken accompanied a British anthropologist. Striking black-and-white portraits of Afghanis and an image of the giant Buddha of Bamiyan, destroyed by the Taliban in 2001, taken during Margaret’s trip to Afghanistan in 1973. She and Ken continue to travel the world, observing people, nature, and culture, and taking photographs.


Since she stopped her car those years ago, Margaret has been documenting the farm’s progress, giving the farm its visual history. Fascinated by barns since girlhood, she photographed the farm’s barn as that vinyl siding was removed and during renovations. Margaret’s photos often appear in the NCF newsletter. Susan Tornheim, our newsletter editor, says of Margaret: “I am so glad to have been working with Margaret since I started as newsletter editor in 2009. Her photos are fresh and well composed, and they illustrate and enliven the newsletter tremendously.” Margaret photographs events and classes at the farm, the fields and their vegetables, people picking up their CSA shares, and high-school interns working at the farm. interns_and_carrots_9_15.JPG


Margaret’s favorite vegetables? “Grilled eggplant with zucchini and tomatoes. Oven-roasted or grilled vegetables of all kinds.” And when asked if she had a favorite farm photograph, Margaret chose the one that accompanies this profile, a picture of high- school interns harvesting carrots and throwing them into crates, carrots caught in mid-air. Taking pictures of children at the farm is what Margaret most enjoys. “The farm’s mission is to educate,” she says, “and having been a teacher, I love the idea of getting these little sprouts early on and educating them about food … tasting, touching, working with nature.... The joy of it. It’s for the good of the earth.”


If you would like to get involved in our education program or any other aspect of Newton Community Farm, please e-mail Lisa, our Volunteers Chair, at



Spinach-Cheese CalzoneChard_7_11.jpg

(Moosewood Cookbook, Revised Ed., Mollie Katzen)

You can use chard, kale, or any green instead of spinach. This is a great recipe to make with kids.



1 cup wrist-temperature water

1½ tsp. active dry yeast

1 Tb. honey or sugar

1½ tsp. salt

2½–3 cups flour

Olive oil


Put the water in a medium-sized bowl. Sprinkle in the yeast and stir in the honey or sugar till everything dissolves. Use a whisk to stir in the salt and flour. When it gets too thick to whisk, mix with one floured hand. Knead in the bowl for about 5 minutes.


Brush a little olive oil over the dough, cover the bowl, and let the dough rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk (about 1 hour). In the meantime, prepare the filling.


Spinach-Cheese Filling

1 Tb. olive oil

4–5 medium garlic cloves, minced

1 cup minced onion

1 Tb. dried or 3 Tb. minced fresh basil

1 lb. spinach, stemmed and minced

1 lb. ricotta or cottage cheese

½ tsp. salt

2 cups packed grated mozzarella

Black pepper

about ¼ cup grated parmesan


Heat the oil in a medium-sized skillet. Saute onion over medium heat until transparent, about 5 minutes. Add spinach, salt, and pepper. Cook, stirring, over high heat for several minutes till the spinach wilts. Stir in the garlic and basil and cook for about 2 more minutes. Put the cheeses in a medium-sized bowl. Add the spinach saute and mix well. Correct seasonings.


  Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Oil a baking tray.
  Punch down the risen dough. Divide it into 6 equal sections and roll out on a floured surface into circles 1/4 inch thick.
  Put 1/2 to 3/4 cup of filling on one half of the circle, leaving a 1/2-inch rim. Use your fingers or a brush to moisten the rim with a little water. Fold over the empty side and crimp the edges with a fork. Use the fork to prick little holes here and there on the top surface.
  Put the completed calzones on the oiled tray and bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until crisp and lightly browned. Serve hot.


Susan Tornheim


Farm Stand

The farm stand will open for its full, regular hours the second week of June: Tuesdays through Fridays, 1:30–6, and Saturdays, 9:30–1:00. Please check our Web site and Facebook page for updates.


Farmers' Market

The farm sells its produce at the Newton Saturday market, which opens on June 18 and is located on Elm Street in West Newton. It runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. during the summer and fall.


Volunteer Hours on the Farm

Hours: Wednesdays and Thursdays, two sessions, 8:00–10:00 a.m. and 10:30–12:30; Saturdays, 10:30–12:30

Please be sure to check our Facebook page before coming in case of last-minute cancellations. Please also read the information on our Web site about volunteer field work so you know what to expect.


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Newton Community Farm
303 Nahanton Street
Newton, Massachusetts 02459