Fresh from the farm is an experience

Fresh from the farm is an experience

Buying fresh fruits and vegetables from a local farm stand not only demonstrates healthy eating habits to children, it can teach them the value of supporting local agriculture. If we’re lucky, the trip to the farm can result in a few cherished memories. There is no denying that tomatoes or lettuce picked the same day  taste better than the produce purchased from the grocery store. If you’ve ever had the pleasure of harvesting food from a backyard garden rather than a refrigerator, you will agree that the “chore” itself could be as fun as the food was tasty. I remember picking vegetables with my grandfather; he taught me how to choose the ripest and sweetest tomatoes and how to determine when peppers were ready to be picked. Even sweeter than those tomatoes are the memories of the experience that I still carry with me today.

 

By today’s standards, however, we are not always as diligent about taking time to smell the roses…or as the case may be, the basil. In our rush to complete all of our errands, making a special trip to a local farm, exclusively for the purpose of buying cucumbers and tomatoes, can seem like an added chore and one that could easily be eliminated, if we just purchased our produce at the local grocery store, along with all of the other items on our list. But sometimes, these everyday chores are the same ones that create an experience and in the process, a lasting memory, for children and parents, alike. If we eliminate these so-called chores, we may be denying ourselves and our children the pleasure of true, quality time spent together.

 

When you buy your fruits and vegetables from Colchester Neighborhood Farm, consider blocking out an extra 15 minutes or 30 minutes for the “chore” because it could easily turn into a fun and wonderful experience. Colchester Neighborhood Farm is a social enterprise in every sense of the word. Employing adults with developmental and intellectual disabilities who are more than happy to wait on their customers at the farm stand, they are also eager to show off their farm, which includes chickens, a friendly donkey named Dapple, and some goats and their babies…yes the kids love the kids! A visit to Colchester Neighborhood Farm is more than just buying fresh fruits and vegetables, it is an opportunity for our children to learn about agriculture, to see how their food is grown and where it comes from. And going home with a few good memories along with some fresh tomatoes, organically grown cucumbers, and a bouquet of fresh flowers isn’t bad either.

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Getting your fair share of the pie…and the vegetables

Getting your fair share of the pie…and the vegetables

Today’s consumers have never been more savvy or health conscious when it comes to buying food for their families. They are opting for healthier choices and often times that means buying food that is locally grown, without the aid of chemicals and pesticides. Local farmers recognize this heightened demand for fresh fruits and vegetables that have been organically grown and are working harder than ever to make sure that their farm stands are filled with enough produce to satisfy all of their customers.

 

It can be terribly disappointing to get to the farm stand only to find out that the tomatoes are sold out or the lettuce has all been eaten up. This is the plight of the local farmer….knowing how much produce to grow to meet the demand of his customers. Grow too much and the farm suffers a loss in terms of expenses; grow too little and the customer is disappointed. In an effort to take the guess work out of the process and to ensure that every customer gets their fair share of freshly harvested fruits and vegetables, Community Supported Agriculture, also known as CSA shares, have become quite the trend and consumers and farmers alike are, pardon the pun, eating it up.

 

The way the CSA shares work is simple. Customers pay the farmer upfront for a season’s worth of fruits and vegetables. This gives the farmer a firm grasp on the number of people who will be purchasing from him during the season so he knows how much to plant to ensure that all of his “regular” customers get the vegetables they want. Each week, he sets aside the fruits and vegetables that have been “pre-ordered” by these shareholders. It is the ultimate customer service model and a win-win situation for both the farmer and the customer.

 

Here at Colchester Neighborhood Farm, we are selling CSA shares for our vegetables and fruits as well as the flowers we grow, organic eggs, and our winter vegetable crops…buying fresh and local doesn’t end when the last tomato has been picked.

 

What really sets Colchester Neighborhood Farm apart from other local farms is the people. Yes, it really is the people who are tilling the soil, picking the vegetables, building trellises, tending to the chickens, and all of the other work that happens on the farm. Managed and operated by New England Village, Inc., a nonprofit organization that assists people with developmental and intellectual disabilities find employment, the men and women working on our farm have found their purpose here and are happy to lend their talents and skills to this business. And they are happy to deliver the highest level of customer service to the people who visit our farm stand.

 

Buying fresh fruits and vegetables from Colchester Neighborhood Farm not only provides you with food that tastes good, it gives you a good feeling knowing you are supporting people who truly love their job and the opportunity to serve you.

Megan’s Trip to the Farm

It’s always exciting to bring someone new to the farm so they can experience first hand what it takes to care for the animals and get a better idea of the crops and the fields where they grow.  Somehow though it’s even more refreshing to bring along someone that knows some of the stories, is familiar with a few of the animals by name, and can appreciate the hard work that goes into what makes a farm run successfully.

Last weekend CNF had a visitor from the Granite State.  Megan, currently living in New Hampshire, was visiting the home of volunteer Bruce and her dad, Bob.  Bruce and Bob were eager to take Megan to the farm as it was her first visit to CNF.  Megan was also thrilled to have the opportunity to experiment with her new Canon SLR camera.  Here’s a slideshow sampling of the over 200 photos she took during the Saturday PM feeding. Since it was a brisk day and cold time of year for a visit, Megan expressed that she can’t wait to come back in the spring and summer to see the crop fields planted and the lambs grown!  Enjoy!

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Colchester Neighborhood Farm Egg Share

Want to be assured of being able to purchase Farm Fresh Eggs each week?

Purchase a CNF Egg Share!  Pre-pay for your eggs  then pick them up each week.  

Purchasing eggs currently costs $3.50 per dozen.  You could save .25 per dozen and would be assured of getting the freshest eggs because we  would set them aside for you each week.

Our current EGG SHARE  is  for the 8 weeks of January and February 0f 2010.  

In the EGG SHARE  Program, each dozen costs $3.25

, so the cost of the 8 week egg share is $26.00 for the Jan/ Feb Egg Share  Season.

Please contact us at colchesterfarm@mac.com or call Connie at 781-588-4255 to participate.