Newton Community Farm
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July 2014

We have two farm-related events to look forward to: the opening of the new farmers’ market in West Newton on Saturday, July 5, and Dinner on the Farm on Tuesday, July 15. Click for the menu or to register. I hope you will take part in one or both.

Susan Tornheim 

Newsletter Editor

From the Farmer

I think I’m always more keenly aware of how long the days are only after the solstice has passed. I’m not sure why. Maybe it’s the combination with the heat that comes in July? I find the combination of long days and hot weather invigorating. I love to run in it. I love to weed in it. And the farm certainly loves to grow in it. The past few weeks have been wonderful with their hot days and cool nights and mostly low humidity. It’s exactly the kind of weather we need to make up time for this year’s cold wet spring.




Our High School Intern program kicked off in June. We have over 20 high school students signed up for the program. Each student commits to working from 8:00 to 12:00 three days a week for two weeks. At the end of that time we do an evaluation, asking them about their experience at the farm and giving them some feedback on their work. For many of the students this is their first experience working, and definitely for many of them their first experience working a physically demanding job. They tend not to be as excited as I am about the hot days of July, often seeming as wilted by the end of the morning as the vegetables are. It’s a great experience, though. Some kids go through their two weeks and are done, but many others choose to keep coming. There’s a camaraderie that develops, even though we often have four to five kids, all from different high schools. Many also come to find that they enjoy working outdoors.


One of the things I really like about the High School Intern program is that it ties us to our past. This farm has had high school students working on it for a long time. Jerry Angino, whose family owned the farm from the early 1900s until the City bought it in 2005, was among other things a truant officer for Newton. He brought countless kids to the farm, putting them to work. His attitude seemed to have been that if you were going to play hooky, at least you’d be working rather than getting into trouble. Amazingly, most of the kids he brought to the farm remember him and their time at the farm fondly. The farm impacted their lives positively. That’s what we’re hoping for today. While the students who come to the farm now are choosing to rather than being brought here by a truant officer, the goals are still the same: teach them something about hard work, and through that, something about themselves.


July marks the start of the farmers’ market season in Newton. This year we’ll be at a new market: Saturdays from 10:00 to 2:00 on Elm Street in West Newton. The City will be closing Elm Street off between Washington and Border Streets and turning the entire area into a farmers’ market. In addition to four farms, there are about 30 other vendors. The numerous restaurants and businesses in the area are all excited about the market, and I am, too. I’m very hopeful that the new time, day, and location will translate into a dynamic Saturday market.




Many of you who know me know that I have played soccer for almost 40 years now and have coached for both my kids, so it’s probably no surprise that the World Cup is big news at the farm. Dan, Alison, and I packed into the farm office and sat around the computer over our lunch break watching the U.S. team take on Portugal. The hot weather is certainly making us empathetic: while we’re not playing soccer for 90 minutes in the heat and humidity, a day picking vegetables in the sun can wear you out.


If you haven’t been to the farm yet this season, please consider coming by. The farm stand is open every afternoon (Tuesday through Friday); volunteer hours are underway (Wednesday and Thursday mornings); we have a wonderful fundraiser dinner planned for this month; or you can just come to enjoy a walk around. The field is full, we’re catching up on weeding, and things are looking lush and beautiful. Whether you stop by or not, I hope everyone enjoys their summer.


Greg Maslowe 




Summer is here! How do I know? Because Summer Farm Sprouts is back and in full swing. We are so excited to welcome so many new friends along with old friends, returning after a long winter! Our friends are full of energy and curiosity and are ready to explore. With the help of the musical talents of Kat, our summer Farm Sprout instructor, our Sprouts are learning new songs, and over the coming weeks we will learn what vegetables grow above ground compared to underground, the important work of the worm, and lots more. If you have not yet registered, there are still some spaces available, but please check our Web site for specific availability.




This past month we also welcomed adults from the Vocational Advancement Center in Watertown. The group enjoyed a tour of the field, a highlight being the sampling of freshly picked peas. We then planted containers with herbs and peppers, which were carefully transported back to the center to be cared for and enjoyed. Our visitors also left with lettuce and radishes that they had helped to harvest, and by all accounts they later enjoyed a healthy and tasty salad.





June also saw us host the initial planning meeting for Food Day 2014, which will take place on October 24. Food Day is a nationwide celebration of healthy, affordable, and sustainably produced food as well as a grassroots campaign for better food policies. People from across the Newton community and farther afield came together to begin brainstorming about what and how this day can be used to showcase and celebrate the fantastic work already being done as well as what we would like to see more of. Thank you so much to those who came. It was an inspiring and exciting evening full of discussion and great ideas. For more information on this great event and how to get involved, visit or contact Alison Scorer at or Rose Arruda at the Massachusetts Department of Agriculture,






In July our summer youth programs get in full swing with Little Diggers, Farmer in Training (FiT), and Socially Aware Young Farmers (SAY-F). For more information and to register please visit our Web site at Please remember that preregistration is required for all of our programs.




Alison (Wilson) Scorer

Education Coordinator


Dinner on the Farm

Tuesday, July 15

6:30–9:00 p.m.

Dinner to be served starting at 7:00 p.m.


Newton Community Farm cordially invites you to our annual Dinner on the Farm honoring Sam and Margaret Fogel.


Spend a delightful evening on the farm enjoying a wonderful dinner featuring our own farm’s veggies prepared by a professional chef. Enjoy the food, delicious wine and beer, lively conversation, and relaxing music by the Dixie Butterhounds string band, all while watching the sun set over the farm’s beautiful landscape. The evening promises to be full of music, laughter, and exclamations of culinary joy as we enjoy delicious entrees featuring fresh vegetables from the farm. Click for the menu or to register.


Price per ticket for the general public is $65; Friends of the Farm receive a special price of $55. We hope to see you there! The ticket price covers the cost of food and provides some contribution to NCF’s education program. Wine and beer will be sold at a cash bar.


Interested in volunteering? Here are the choices. Registration will close on July 8.


Mara Gorden


Save the Date

Fall Festival

Sunday, September 28


Interested in helping to plan these events? E-mail Mara at


Mara Gorden


Barn Renovation Progress

The photos tell the story. The lower-level CSA area is complete. We are almost ready to start using the handicapped-accessible main floor of the barn, with its wonderful meeting space, demonstration kitchen, and real bathrooms. There are a few steps left before city officials will give us a Certificate of Occupancy.



CSA Pickup Area



Ramp to barn



Peter Barrer stands in the kitchen space in March



Kitchen almost completed



Cooktop and counter


As soon as we can raise additional private funds, the farm manager’s office will be built on the loft level in the barn, a sprinkler system will be installed, and a roof will be built over the deck to create a screened meeting room.


Peter Barrer


The Bigger Picture:

Massachusetts Food Systems Plan

In an effort to strengthen our local food economy, the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources and the Massachusetts Food Policy Council have begun an 18-month process to develop a plan to establish a socially just, environmentally resilient, and economically robust food system in this state. The work is being led by the Metropolitan Area Planning Council in collaboration with three other organizations, and it will include analysis, research, and public input. The goal of the work is to publish an actionable plan that ensures the long-term sustainability of our local food system through an ecologically stable network of food producers, consumers, processors, retailers, and distribution hubs. Consideration will also be given to related issues such as climate change, social equity, public health, and water use.



Click MA Food System Plan for more information about this important initiative and to sign up to receive updates as the plan progresses.


Dede Vittori


Seasonal Eating

Living in a place that has distinct seasons means that our lives move through predictable but different routines as the year progresses. Welcome to summer in New England. Not only do we change our wardrobes into lighter colors and more breathable fabrics, but in making a commitment to eating seasonally, our meals shift and change as well. Now that the weather is warmer, our dinners shift from the soups and stews of late winter and early spring to foods we can grill outdoors and serve with braised kale or asparagus or on a bed of wilted arugula.


When our fridge shelves are crowded with fresh salad greens, our typical meals include grilled protein one evening as the main event, and the next night all the extras are chopped into a mammoth salad. Our other go-to summer supper, especially if it’s raining and no one wants to stand at the grill, is a stir-fry. We happen to have a huge commercial wok, but any large pot will do in a pinch. Prepare the vegetables, each one in a separate bowl according to firmness (which translates into cooking time in the wok). This is a great way to eat through your share each week and experiment with vegetables you might not typically use, like kohlrabi and radishes. If you are making a stir-fry with meat, cook the meat first in your preferred seasonings and then remove from the wok. Next, starting with the firmest vegetables (such as carrots or broccoli stems), cook them until “al dente,” adding the next bowl’s worth to the wok while the first veggies continue to cook. End with any leafy greens and fold in the meat to rewarm.


Even breakfast changes as berry season works its magic. In the past two weeks strawberries have taken center stage. We ate them in cereal, blended them in smoothies, and served them for dessert with vanilla ice cream.


I recently canned my first batch of fresh preserves―strawberry-balsamic jam―and have our stock laid in for the winter. The ruby-red jam is absolutely beautiful. My basic recipe for all berry preserves can be found on my blog and is an old French jam-making technique that uses no added pectin and allows the fruit to take center stage. The next project will be blueberry jam, once the local blueberries are ready to pick in about a month.


One of the interesting side benefits of eating seasonally is that I have begun to notice how my food cravings change. Watching our basil sprout and the small green tomatoes dotting our tomato plants grow has made me hungry for tomato-mozzarella salad and bread dipped in fresh pesto. I know it will be another month or so until my taste buds get to enjoy that, but it’s fun to anticipate what’s coming next from the garden.


Enjoy the bounty!


Lisa Janice Cohen




The farm’s list of shared recipes, the wiki, is a great resource, so here are three recipes that are perfect for this month’s veggies. In July we’ll be toting home beets, tomatoes, peppers, cukes, summer squash, radishes, and carrots, among other vegetables. What do we do with this bounty? Use the beets in Chilled Beet and Buttermilk Soup. Make Ratatouille to showcase your tomatoes, zucchini, peppers, and basil. And your carrots can be part of Garbanzo Stew when you want a somewhat heartier dish. And please take the opportunity to explore the wiki.


Susan Tornheim


Farmers' Market

Location: Elm Street, West Newton

Time: Saturdays, 10–2, starting July 5 and running through the end of October


Farm Stand

Farm stand hours for July: Tuesday through Friday, 1:30–6; Saturday, 9:30–1. Please check our Web site, and Facebook page for updates.


Volunteer Hours

Wednesdays and Thursdays, 8 a.m.–10 a.m., and again from 10:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m.; Saturdays from 10 a.m.–noon, May through October.


Please contact us if you have any questions about this newsletter or ideas for future issues, or if you want to be added to our mailing list. Just e-mail Susan Tornheim at For more information about the farm, e-mail our farm manager, Greg, at or check out our Web page at (or click on the image at the top of the page).
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Newton Community Farm
303 Nahanton Street
Newton, Massachusetts 02459