Have you heard of Polyface Farms located in Swoope,VA just outside of Staunton? Well if you haven’t – just google ‘Joel Salatin’ and you will be introduced into the REAL world of agriculture, healthy food & clean farming. You may not like what you hear and you might have to take a hard look at what you consume, so be ready because this man and his message is not to be ignored! You are about to experience a reality food and lifestyle check if you read any of his books or listen to any of his youtube videos. I will be heading down to Polyface Farms in April to attend one of their Lunatic Tours and I can’t wait ! Joel speaks around the world but I am excited to hear him speak on his own turf this Spring at his family farm. If you are not lucky enough to take a ride through the Blue Ridge mountains and visit Polyface Farms, consider attending one of Joel’s speaking events or reading one of his books, if you are super frugal like myself listen to him talk on YouTube! Until then, start seeding and enjoy these photographs from a bacon mission this past summer! I didn’t take a lot of photographs because I was just so excited to be there, I plan on taking a lot more photographs in April!
This Sunday, September 13th from 11-5 New Found Farm in Holliston, MA will host pony rides, a petting farm, tractor show and just good ole fun on the farm! Free Admission. Drop by and explore the grounds. Their slogan ‘ FREE RANGE KIDS ‘ is exactly what growing up should be all about! Be sure to say HI to Thumbelina one of the miniature horses and check out their new Micro Pigs! Lots to do and see !
Have you ever been to Elm Bank in South Natick/Wellesley? It is a secret gem of the Boston Metro-West area. IT IS GORGEOUS! Gardens Galore ! There are so many niche gardens (Rhododendron, Italianate, Weezy’s Children’s Garden, GARDEN TO TABLE – My personal favorite, and the list goes on) ! This is a great place to come and get some open space , fresh air, and tons of natural beauty – manicured and wild. I am personally involved in the Garden To Table Garden that is volunteer ran – all vegetables produced here are donated to local food banks. Last year we donated over 4,000 lbs. ! G2T (Garden To Table) I will save for another post because it is a story in itself !
Back on August 13 Elm Bank hosted a free festival on their grounds with live music thanks to Jennifer Kimball, tours, art, tastings, and great vibes ! THE POMOMA FESTIVAL honoring the Greek God Pomoma – honoring Fruit Trees, Gardens & Orchards ! My kind of gal !!! MMM HMM !
If you live in the area, I encourage you to become a member of Mass Hort (short for The Massachusetts Horticultural Society, who’s headquarters are located at Elm Bank) and make touring their grounds a weekly event! They also have a great newsletter with different activities for children & adults all throughout the year! Here are a couple of snippets from the Pomoma Festival at sunset!
The other Saturday I had the pleasure of visiting Harvey’s Farm & Garden Center in Westborough, MA. Normally when I go to a Garden Center, I am completely ignored, offered no help, find many plants not labeled, and usually wander about in circles. What I hope to be a fun, relaxing, & rejuvenating (yes – to see some bright colors, foliage, and life can encourage the soul here in New England!) shopping trip usually turns out to be a frustrating experience. NOT AT HARVEY’S ! You are greeted, offered advice, asked specific questions related to your project(s)! They are WONDERFUL! They are HELPFUL! They are EXTREMELY KNOWLEDGABLE! Also, their plant material is in the best shape- healthy & happy (disease free!), they take great care of their plants and property. Their selection of Vegetable Transplants is amazing – You name it, they’ve got it!! If you want to start a Veggie Garden – GO HERE! I was floored! Thank you Harvey’s for a shopping experience I had always hoped for!!
I will be photographing a wedding at Hartman’s Herb Farm this June so the bride and I decided to go out on a lovely spring day to see what was in bloom or about to be in bloom. I like to scout out locations prior to the day of shoots merely to get comfortable with my surroundings – I try not to pre-visualize things too much or else I feel like things just don’t flow.
Well, we were in a for a treat, not only is the venue beautiful, the owners are incredible too! What a great family !!! They try to do as much ‘Farm to Table’ items as possible for each event including Flowers & Veggies. If you ever need Herbs, Flowers, Perennials, Wedding/Party Venue, Dance Venue – this is it! Lynn and Carissa are so nice, welcoming and hospitable- it is clear they put as much emphasis, thought and love into an event as the host!
If you are looking for a nice country drive head out to Hartman’s in Barre, MA to see the beautiful flowers, shop around, and look at the animals ! Call the farm if you have any questions about their farm, what they sell, they are very helpful! This place is adorable and I barely touched the surface and mainly focused on the animals-FYI!
The Holliston Homestead- It was Shear Day back on March 24th. No sheep were harmed in this process – this guy is a PROFESSIONAL! Not even one knick! The reason the sheep are hand sheared is because their wool will be used for knitting. Next up – Carding the Wool and grading the coat! The sheep look so funny now and are quite naked. They have been so much more talkative since they got sheared. Didn’t hear a peep out of them all winter but now its BAH BAH BAH!
On Sunday, March 22nd dedicated townspeople of the Holliston Agricultural Commission hosted their 2nd Annual ‘IS IT SPRING YET’ Fundraising Event at Breezy Hill Farm in Holliston, Massachusetts. The Fundraiser included a myriad of farm animals and the sought after “Kiss The Pig” Spectacle- Boss Hog, that is. The money made from each vote cast at $1 goes towards the Butterfly Aviary. For more information on the town contest, fundraising efforts, and winner – click here & here. Enjoy these adorable animals, thanks Holliston Ag Commission for a great event and all your hard work!
I’m going to warn you up front and be honest – these photos were not taken in the New England area. I took a trip down to Virginia (and of course I brought some Boston Snow Storms with me!) and visited Chiles Orchard in Crozet, Virginia and Veritas Winery in Afton, Virginia.
Although Chiles was closed I got a couple pictures of the peach trees, notice their pruning style (in the shape of a Y). This helps to keep disease down, air circulation up, and makes it easier to pick peaches. At Veritas I snapped a few pics of their veranda that has grape vines overhead – what a windy highway of vines!
Chiles Peach Orchard – must get their Peach Ice Cream!! And pick peaches! Would love to go in the Spring and see those Blooms – WOO WEE!!
Veritas Vineyard – This vineyard has some of my most favorite views in the central Virginia area. Wow. Go for their ‘Starry Night’ Series – great music, great views, under the stars, dancing, kid friendly, and lots of places for the kids to run around ! Really no better way to spend a summer evening.
Enjoy this winter, it is not so bad. Plus, Spring will be here before you know it!
Merry Christmas! Happy Holidays! Here are a select few photos from Natick Community Organic Farm (NCOF) from my visit this Fall! This will be the first of many blog posts about NCOF, it is in such a great location and they have SO much to offer year round! Great place to grab some organic chicken, beef, pork and take a stroll !! They offer lots of camps during the summer and school vacations! If I were a kid I would LOVE to go here for camp!!
Drumlin Farm is worth a visit! They provide interest year round and have tons of animals! These are just a few sneak peak photos of what the farm has to offer! Don’t miss the raptors in their cages, the pigs, birds, the beautiful vegetable gardens, ponies, cows, and great staff!
They offer tons of interesting classes in their cozy education building, and miles of hiking trails !
This farm is full of fun and laughter ! My husband and I had a great time walking the trails and enjoying the fresh, autumn air !