Land’s Sake Farm in Weston, Mass., offers Community Supported Agriculture that Connects Customers with the Land. Photo Courtesy Nicole Jean Turner.
A Morning at the Farm
By Matthew Cerullo, Shelagh Dolan and Simona Horsikyan,
Edited by Nicole Jean Turner, Instructor Stephanie Schorow
The morning was dark, chilly, and somewhat rainy at Land’s Sake Farm in Weston, Mass., but the sun prevailed in the afternoon. Bumblebees hummed around the sunflowers, feeding on nectar, and birdsong welcomed guests and farmers alike.
As soon as we walked in, we were barraged by smells coming from the chickens, the flowers, and the many different fruits and vegetables. These aromas mixed with subtle hints of petrichor and fresh-cut spices from the land around us were some of the many treasures of spending a morning on a farm.
While the market’s staffers are arranging the produce and explaining farm mechanics, customers start browsing, mothers start picking flowers, and children observe the chickens and rabbits.
A white truck drives up the dirt entrance. A man hops out of the cab and opens the back of the truck, and unloads stacks of what resemble thin white pizza boxes. He carries them up the gravel path and places them on a wooden farm stand shelf.
A look inside the stack reveals green cardboard containers of blueberries, raspberries and currants, freshly delivered for community members to buy this Saturday morning.
Bell and Sweet Peppers Are Among The New Produce This Season at Land’s Sake Farm in Weston, Mass. Photo Courtesy Shelagh Dolan.
Welcome to a typical Saturday morning at the farm, which is dedicated to building connections among people, the food they eat, and the land. Most of the produce you buy at the grocery store is picked before it is ripe and transported thousands of miles before it reaches the store. In contrast, the Land’s Sake produce is picked right before the market opens in the morning.
You can find a variety of colorful organic fruits and vegetables, which are packed with vitamins and minerals. Here at the Land’s Sake farm, customers talk directly to the people who grow the produce. The farmers tell how they grew it, what fertilizers they used, what variety they planned, and can answer other questions.
A visit to Land’s Sake Farm is a great opportunity to spend time with your family. There is no entrance fee, so and also it’s a fun way to enjoy a walk on a summer’s day.
Land`s Sake is a registered nonprofit corporation that supports sustainable farming, environmental education, food donation programs, and land management. The farm is based on principles of Community Supported Agriculture (CSA), meaning community members can invest in shares for a season, and in return they can pick up fresh vegetables and flowers from the 30-acre property.
Colorful Watering Cans Sit Alongside the Colorful Flower Field. Photo Courtesy of Shelagh Dolan.
The farm has about 300 CSA shareholders, each assigned a weekly pickup day, when they can come by and collect their shares. Seasonal shares come in five different options, so families can choose which type best fits their needs.
In addition to the CSA shareholder program, Land’s Sake has an on-site farm stand, stocked daily with fruits, veggies and special products like popcorn, honey, syrup and shortbread cookies. Land’s Sake doesn’t grow its own berries but it receives fresh berry deliveries to the stand three times a week from partner Nourse Farm of South Deerfield, Mass. Farm stand products are available to everyone, CSA shareholder or not.
A Customer Snips Celosia From The Pick-Your-Own Flower Field. Photo Courtesy Nicole Jean Turner.
Our team arrived in the early morning to scope out the grounds. We first noticed the chicken coop housing about 10 birds, clucking and drinking water. The chickens came close enough to the gate that we could touch them but we didn’t dare risk getting pecked. The little things loved the attention but as soon as we walked away from the coop they went back to their water and food.
The Farm is Home to Rabbits for Teaching Children About Animals. Photo Courtesy Simona Horsikyan.
We also saw a mother and baby rabbits in moveable hutches. Their homes could be picked up and moved around the land to provide the rabbits with the most luscious grass. When we got closer to their cages, the rabbits jumped up on two legs and pressed their twitching noses against the metal grate.
Stacked on the shelves of the farm stand, barrels of fresh violet eggplant, juicy red and black raspberries, thick leafy greens and bell peppers overflow onto the tables. Customers of all ages browsed the day’s selection. In the fields next to the stand, other farm visitors borrowed scissors to cut their own flowers and create bouquets.
In the CSA shareholder tent we caught up with Weston mother Barrett and son Naimon, Land’s Sake members who come every Saturday to collect their produce and cut flowers. Naimon enjoys hand picking the green beans and Barrett likes that the farm teaches her son about growing local, fresh food.
An Employee Bundles Fresh Flowers, Hand Cut by a Customer for 50 Cents Per Stem. Photo Courtesy Nicole Jean Turner.
“Land’s Sake is a very important part of our town,” said Barrett. “It’s great because [the kids] learn what vegetables look like when they come out of the ground.”
Shareholders Roam the Flowerbeds with Scissors, Working to Create the Perfect Bundle. Photo Courtesy Shelagh Dolan.
The Front Driveway of Land’s Sake Farm is Adorned with Several Signs Advertising Hours, Summer Programs, and In-Season Produce. Photo Courtesy of Shelagh Dolan