Newton Community Farm
If you are having trouble viewing this email, you may see it online

May 2015

This is such a lovely time of year. As I walk or drive around I look for early bulbs and white and pink flowering trees that are blossoming now. I saw my first tulips, jauntily colored, at the Christian Science Plaza in Boston this week. The sights are doubly beautiful after this all-too-recent winter.

Susan Tornheim 

Newsletter Editor

From the Farmer

This season’s cold, slow start left Dan and me, for a while, filling our time getting to projects that have been on my “to do” list too long. It felt a bit decadent: so much time and, frankly, no great rush. That is, until now. Now we’re in catch-up mode, trying to get all the crops we couldn’t plant earlier in the ground while staying on top of seedling production for our seedling sale. We’re hoping this will be our best year ever for our seedling sale. With over 20,000 plants we’re busting at the seams, looking for places to put all of them as one greenhouse after another fills to overflowing. At the end of almost every day we say to each other that there just isn’t enough time in the day to get to all the things we wanted, needed, to do.

Greens in greenhouse

The one saving grace is that the cold, late spring has meant that the asparagus and rhubarb are weeks behind where they normally are so we haven’t opened the farm stand yet. Of course, since we’re not only in the business of growing food but also selling it, this isn’t really a good thing. But it is probably the one thing that has kept Dan and me from throwing up our hands and crying “Uncle!”


The farm is coming alive. The bees are out most days, there are more seedlings than you can shake a stick at, and our new crop of chicks has arrived. They’re still in the cute, downy stage, tucked away in a “brooder” in the lower level of the barn where we can keep them nice and warm. They’re not yet gangly teenagers, ready to move out to the coop with the older hens, but they’ll get there soon enough. We didn’t breed our rabbits this winter, so no bunnies this spring. We’re trying to figure out a better living situation for them where they’ll have more room to romp about and eat fresh grass. Until then, we’re holding off on adding to our rabbit population—though we do have a wild rabbit living under one of the rabbit hutches. Guess it was looking for a friend. Kind of like the white dove that moved into our chicken coop last summer and has been there ever since. I’m not sure if it thinks it’s a chicken, but I do know two things: 1) the chickens don’t seem to like it very much—they know it’s not a chicken; and 2) I haven’t found any tiny little eggs yet, so it’s a bit of a freeloader. Our old farm dog Casey is almost blind at this point, but one of the few things she can see is that bright white dove. And she barks at it every time she sees it (just to show us that she can see it, I think).


Over the winter our Board of Directors voted to create a Sustainability Committee. This committee will be tasked with assessing various aspects of sustainability on the farm—not just our farming practices, but “greening” our buildings and events, our vehicles, and even our personnel policies. I’m very excited about this as I think it will be great to take a systematic look at all of our practices. On the farming front, our big dump truck, which we use to haul potting soil, compost, and fertilizer, is a 1989 Ford F-350 diesel. A couple of years ago we had it converted to run on recycled grease (fry oil). We’ve been having problems off and on with it, but I’m happy to report that we seem (I’m keeping my fingers crossed) to have finally figured them all out, and it’s running happily, smelling like McDonald’s as it does. If you’ve got little kids, or are a little kid at heart, you can look for it at this year’s Touch-A-Truck.


That’s about it for me. I’m always late getting my article to the editor, so I need to get this fired off. We’re up and running, going full speed ahead until Thanksgiving. It happens so suddenly, the shift from quiet to crazy, especially this year. But the days are getting longer and the sun is starting to shine, and I find this an intoxicating combination, making me want to never come in from the field.


Greg Maslowe 



Seedling Sale May 16 and 17


The farm is getting ready for the annual seedling sale! We’re growing cherry tomatoes, herbs, cucumbers, kale, peppers, eggplants, lettuce, and many other vegetable starts for you to take home and nurture in your own home garden. On Saturday, May 16, and Sunday, May 17, from noon to 3:00, rain or shine, we’ll be ready to satisfy all your seedling needs. Friends of the Farm may participate in our preorder, to avoid the lines and to make sure you get the varieties you want, with this Preorder Form. The deadline is May 9 to submit preorders. And we need volunteers to help the day run smoothly, which can count as work hours for CSA shareholders. If you would like to help and have fun at the same time, go to our Volunteer Form to sign up.


Stephanie Cogen


2015 Flower Share Progrm

Farm Flowers

Newton Community Farm is again offering a 15-week flower-share program for $150. Enjoy fresh, seasonal flowers grown at the Natick Community Organic Farm and delivered to NCF on Wednesdays. Sharers pick up flowers at the barn from 2:00 to 7:00 p.m. on Wednesdays or Thursdays. Click 2015 Flower Share to download the form and enroll. Forms and payment should be sent directly to Natick Community Organic Farm and are due by May 27.


Dede Vittori



It must be spring; Farm Sprouts is back, I have made my first visit for 2015 to the Meetinghouse Child Care Center where we planted a lovely spring salad mix, and I've been back to Countryside Elementary School to help with the school garden’s spring cleanup. This past month I had the pleasure of visiting the Newton Senior Center, letting people know about the range of programs we have here at the farm as well as to recruit volunteers for our new intergenerational program that starts this coming month in partnership with the John M. Barry Boys and Girls Club. Exciting times!

Little Diggers Farm Stand>

Over April vacation I came to the farm with one of my sons; the other was off with his friends. Usually when I come to the farm with my children, they quickly disappear to play soccer with Greg and Jessica’s son. However, on this occasion that was not an option, and without his sibling to create mischief with, he instead joined me in my work in the Learning Garden. Together we collected small rocks to create an edge for one of the paths, and as we moved rocks we found thousands of ants, some grubs, and the occasional worm. We also watered the strawberries and decided that the bed they were in could do with a helping of compost. (Yes, I realize that I should probably have put that in before I transplanted the strawberries, but I am not afraid to say I am still learning!) So off he went at record speed, pushing the cart to the compost pile and started to fill the cart. We then played with the ride-on toys―well, actually I had to push him due to a chain problem―and did laps of the farm in our very own race competition, and needless to say, we always won! Greg, if you could repair the little blue tractor, my back would very much appreciate it! I share this story with you because it was truly one of those magical moments, being outside, laughing with my son, being reminded of the simple things that bring so much pleasure to young children, but I was also reminded of all that is wonderful about the farm. It’s a sanctuary from the hustle and bustle, a place where your kids can be kids, they can explore, get dirty, and where grownups can rediscover their inner kid! Over the coming weeks and months I hope that you, too, will come and discover the simple pleasures that can be found here.


Upcoming Classes

5/5 – Spring Farm Sprouts, 10–11 a.m.

5/6 – Spring Farm Sprouts, 1:15–2:15 p.m.

5/7 – Early Release, Paper Making, 1:30–3:00 p.m.

5/23 – Composting for Beginners, 1:00–2:00 p.m.

5/26 – Celebrating 300 Years of Farming in Newton, 1:30–3:00 p.m.

5/28 – An Introduction to Bees and Beekeeping, 6:30–8:30 p.m.

6/2 – Gardening Social Club, 2:00–3:00 p.m.

You have heard of book clubs and maybe are even a member of one; this is the gardening version! We will meet once a month at Newton Community Farm to discuss, brainstorm, and support each other through our gardening ventures. Topics to be covered will be decided by the group. Other meeting dates include 7/7, 9/1, and 10/6.

6/13 – The Mid-Season Bounty and Thinking Ahead, 9:00 a.m.–noon

In this gardening class topics covered include weeding, harvesting, tips on storing your harvest, as well as planning for the late harvest.


Summer Fun


Registration is open for our summer youth programs!


Farm Sprouts (preschool and kindergarten) – offered 6/16–8/21, meets weekly; choose your day


Little Diggers (entering grades 1 and 2) – offered 6/29–8/7, one-week sessions


Farmer in Training (entering grades 3–5) – offered 7/20–7/31 and 8/10–8/21, one-week sessions


Socially Aware Young Farmers (entering grades 6–9) – offered week of 7/13


Join the education team! We are looking to hire an instructor for our summer preschool program. For more information on the position and application process, please visit our Web site at


Please remember that preregistration is required for all of our programs. For more information and registration information please visit


Alison Scorer

Farm Educator/ Coordinator


2015 Summer High School Intern Program

Applications due May 31


Newton Community Farm is accepting applications for our popular summer high school intern program. Applications are due at the farm by May 31. No experience is necessary, just a desire to learn and work hard. Summer interns work outdoors in this fun and collegial program with two experienced farmers. The interns will learn about farming and will help with key tasks such as harvesting vegetables for weekly distribution to the community-supported agriculture program, farm stand, and food pantries. The work is rewarding, and interns often comment on their sense of accomplishment from their work on the farm.

High School Interns

The minimum requirement for this unpaid internship is a two-week trial period (consecutive weeks) from 8:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. (short break at 10:00 a.m.) from Tuesday through Thursday. After the trial period and with the agreement of the farm manager, interns can increase the number of hours, days (including Fridays and Saturdays), and/or weeks at the farm.


Click for more information about the program and to download application forms.


Dede Vittori


Calling Writers

Do you love to write? Are you an aspiring journalist or do you love to find out the stories behind the surface? The Newton Community Farm is looking for a few writers to research and write articles for its newsletter. We are glad to hear your ideas or we can suggest topics. If you are interested, please contact Susan Tornheim at


Susan Tornheim


Newton Nomadic Theater

The Newton Community Farm welcomes the traveling Newton Nomadic Theater to the farm with its newest production, “The Beauty Queen of Leenane.” The show will be performed in the newly refurbished barn on Friday, June 5, and Saturday, June 6. This black comedy by Irish playwright Martin McDonagh is the third production by Newton's new highly acclaimed theater company and will feature actors Linda Goetz, Lida McGirr, Dave Rich, and Matt Phillips.


The Newton Nomadic Theater stages high-quality, simply staged theater in unusual non-theater locations all around Newton. Says theater founder Jerry Reilly, “The community farm is a perfect place for us. The barn will be a wonderfully intimate setting, and we’re thrilled to be performing there.”


This production will run from May 15 to June 7 at six different Newton locations. Tickets ($20) are available at Newton Nomadic Theater.



I admit it―this tasty recipe has appeared in the newsletter before. But with asparagus showing up in stores, now might be the time to try it.


Thin Spaghetti with Asparagus (serves 2)


1 onion, chopped

½ lb. thin spaghetti

Salt and pepper, to taste

(1 cup pasta cooking liquid)

1 Tb. olive oil

½ cup grated Parmesan cheese

2–3 cloves garlic, crushed

2 Tb. parsley, chopped

½ lb. asparagus

½ cup white wine


Wash the asparagus, snap the ends off, and cut the spears into 1-inch diagonal pieces. Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta.


Meanwhile, in a skillet heat the oil and cook the garlic for 1 minute. Add the asparagus, salt, and pepper. Cook, tossing constantly, for 3 minutes, or until the asparagus is bright green. Add the wine and let it bubble up for 2 minutes. Remove the asparagus from the pan and set it aside. Let the wine cook for 2 minutes more or until the raw edge has boiled off.


Put the spaghetti into the boiling water and cook it, stirring occasionally, for 6 minutes or until it is tender but still has some bite. Dip a 1-cup glass measure into the pot of pasta and take out 1 cup of the cooking liquid. Drain the spaghetti and put it in a warm bowl. Cover and set aside.


Return the asparagus to the pan. Pour the cooking water into the asparagus and let it bubble up. Pour the mixture over the spaghetti, add the cheese, more pepper, and sprinkle with parsley. Serve at once.


Susan Tornheim


Farm Stand

Farm-stand hours have not been set yet. Please check our Web site and Facebook page for updates.


Farmer's Market

The market has not yet opened.


Volunteer Hours

Volunteer hours starting the week of May 6:

Wednesdays and Thursdays, 8–10 a.m. and 10:30–12:30 p.m.

Saturdays, 10:30–12:30


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).
Twitter   Facebook    Instagram    updates on class listings, events, NCF news, and more!
This email was sent to <>. To unsubscribe from future mailings please click here.

Newton Community Farm
303 Nahanton Street
Newton, Massachusetts 02459