LexFarm Update: RFP to be Issued in February

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Jeanne Lin

Jan 17, 2013, 11:43:21 AM1/17/13
to lex-commu...@googlegroups.com

January 17, 2013

RFP Update

This is the year that a Community Farm will move from a concept to reality as the Town of Lexington issues the Request for Proposals (RFP) for the farming use of the Busa property.

Town Manager Carl Valente has placed this piece of business at the top Town priorities for 2013. While the timeline is not definitive, we have learned that the Town expects to issue the final RFP in late February and select the winning proposal by early summer.� LexFarm is busy gearing up to prepare strong proposal that will include a plan for a self-sustaining nonprofit farm operation, farm-based education programs, and many other benefits for the surrounding community. Stay tuned in the coming weeks for more information as we have it! - Ken Karnofsky

LexFarm Cheese-Making Class

If you haven't signed up yet, now's the time!�

Join LexFarm ricottaand the Belmont Food Collaborative in cheese-making 101. Meet Lisa Fox and Joan Teebagy, our cheese-making specialists.� Come learn how to make soft cheeses like chevre, ricotta and paneer and try your finished product afterwards. The class will cover the basics on cheese-making, including milk election, curd textures, and starters, in addition to what tools and techniques to use.� Take home recipes and other information to help get started on your own.�

Two classes are available at the following locations:

When:� Sunday January 27, 2013, 2 - 4 pm
Where: Church of Our Redeemer, 6 Meriam St., Lexington, MA.
Sponsored by Lexington Community Farm Coalition (LexFarm)
Fee: $20 or $10 for LexFarm members
When:� Sunday, February 3, 2013, 2 - 4pm
Where: First Church in Belmont, 404 Concord Ave., Belmont, MA.
Sponsored by Belmont Food Collaborative, Inc.
Fee: $20

Class size is limited, reservations required, so sign up today!

News from the Goat Yard:� Congratulations, Naya!

The LexFarm Goat Yard and goats are owned and cared for by Kim Goldinger, with LexFarm providing volunteer opportunities and educational programming for the public. We are grateful to Kim for her offer to include a "preganancy watch"� in our updates, as the goats are bred and we prepare for kidding.

goatsAll seems to be running smoothly at the Goat Yard. The herd is now together again after a long weaning period for Salt and Pepper.� Ionia is being 'milked through' this year - she will not be bred and is still providing milk once a day in the mornings. Both Sapphire and Naya were taken to be bred, and we are excited to report that Naya is pregnant! Our best estimate of her delivery date is approximately April 20th.

The relatively warm weather and lack of snow (as this was being written) have been good news for the goats who have been spending lots of time outdoors.� LexFarm member George Erickson has been visiting the yard and taking the herd out for forage and exercise a few times per week. The photo here is one he captured of the goats venturing out in the snow for a January walk. Leading is Ella, followed by Pepper, Sapphire , with Naya and Salt looking back at a very hesitant Ionia. While they had a nice walk, they were all happy to bolt back to the safety of their barn and yard.

- Kim Goldinger & Janet Kern

Want the Dirt?

We try to list as many events and topics related to food, farming and organic gardening as we are able to in our bi-monthly LexFarm Update newsletter, but for those who might be interested in learning about some things first-hand, we thought we'd share two list-serves that we recommend:

Boston Food System [BFS]

The Boston Food System provides a forum to post announcements of events, employment opportunities, internships, programs, lectures, and other activities as well as related articles or other publications of a non-commercial nature covering the area's food system - food, nutrition, farming, education, etc. - that take place or focus on or around Greater Boston.� It reaches over 700 subscribers and growing.

To subscribe: https://elist.tufts.edu/wws/subscribe/bfs

Northeast Organic Farming Association (NOFA)- Gardener's Forum

If you have questions about organic gardening, NOFA's got the answers!� Share your questions and your knowledge with other organic gardeners across the state. There is a wealth of info and advice to help one another.� Join the NOFA/Mass Online Gardener's Forum.

To subscribe: nofa-mass...@lists.riseup.net

Climate Change and Agriculture Events

Presentation and Q & A with Rancher and Restoration Ecologist, Allan Savory on reducing carbon emissions

Friday, January 25, ASEAN Auditorium, 3rd Fl., Medford,� 2 - 4 pm

"Reversing Global Warming while Meeting Human Needs: An Urgently Needed Land-Based Option"

Allan Savory
is the founder of the Savory Institute and originator of the Holistic Management approach to restoring grasslands, winner of the Buckminster Fuller Challenge Award, finalist in the Virgin Earth Challenge and 2013 TED global Conference invited presenter.

While governments posture and dither, a pragmatic��� practitioner and intellectual entrepreneur, Allan Savory, has been developing and demonstrating a powerful technique that can reduce carbon dioxide in the atmosphere immediately while reversing desertification and providing livelihoods and food for millions of people.

This event is hosted by the Fletcher School's Agriculture, Forests, and Biodiversity Program of the Center for International Envionment and Resource Policy along with the Friedman School's Agriculture, Food and Environment Program at Tufts University.�

RSVP is required to attend.� To learn more about it, visit here.

Lexington Community Conversation: Climate Change: How can we make a difference in Lexington?�

Tuesday, February 26, Keilty Hall St. Brigid's Church, 6:45 - 9 pm

Join neighbors, town staff, LexFarm members and other community groups to learn how other towns are preparing for potential problems and share your thoughts about this issue in Lexington. This is an opportunity for those concerned about our local food production to voice those concerns and help place agriculture and organic gardening on the list of priorities for Lexington.

The planning committee for this second annual Community Conversation includes members of the following Lexington groups: the League of Women Voters; the Global Warming Action Committee; Citizens for Lexington Conservation; Sustainable Lexington; LexFarm; the Planning Board, and the Town Manager's office.

Membership Corner

Join or Renew your membership for 2013!

Are you a "lapsed" LexFarm member? If you're not sure when your membership expires, you can email membe...@lexfarm.org and we'll let you know!

Help Wanted

Members needed for Children's Educational Programming

The LexFarm Education Committee is extending an open invitation to interested members who would like to help review, select and develop children's farm-based education programming for LexFarm. Anyone interested is invited to join Nancy Gold in the planning process; she owns a large number of excellent curriculum guides, periodicals and books on the subject, in addition to having experience with school gardening and children's environmental education.

If you are interested in meeting to share, explore and discuss the various possibilities or have any questions, please email Nancy at nancya...@gmail.com.

Show Your Support, Become a Member

A donation of $20.00 for an individual membership or $35.00 for a family membership will help us meet our current expenses and plan for the future.� You can sign up online here or send a check payable to Lexington Community Farm Coalition at P.O. Box 554, Lexington, MA 02420. If you have any questions, contact us at membe...@lexfarm.org.

Wild Edible Plant Series

This series covers wild edible plants found in New England as told in Russ Cohen's book, "Wild Plants I Have Known... and Eaten."� If you haven't had the chance, take some time to read this delightfully informative book to find out more on wild plants for sustainable eating.

Note:� If you are unfamiliar with harvesting wild edibles, please consult a plant expert before attempting to forage on your own.

Part Seven: Calamus

calamusSimilar to the cattails, the calamus (Acorus Calamus) can be found growing in wetlands by rivers and damp meadows, often found fully grown between the spring and throughout the early summer.� It grows in patches (20-50 feet in diameter), only half as tall as cattails, and has yellowish leaves.� It is also often referred to as "Sweet Flag," resembling in appearance and habitat to the poisonous "Blue Flag."� The difference between the two plants is that the calamus flowers are similar in color to its leaves and grow on the side of the plant, protruding out like a thumb, whereas the Blue Flag plant's flowers are bright violet and yellow, growing on the top of the plant stalk instead.� The calamus plant can also be distinguished by its spicy, ginger flavor, especially found in its roots.� Chewing on candied calamus roots had once been a common custom as an after-dinner treat as well as an aid to digestion.� In different cultures, they are also used for medicinal purposes, such as stimulating the appetite, soothing sore throats as a tea, in addition to relieving digestive problems.� The main edible part of the plant are its hearts, or the young inner leaves of the plant that have not fully matured, remaining tender enough for eating.� They have a much milder taste compared to their roots and are best eaten as a raw addition to salads.�

Further Thinking

TedxManhattan is encouraging individuals and organizations to host live viewing parties for its upcoming event, "Changing the Way We Eat" on February 16th.� To learn more about it and to register as an official viewing party, visit their site here.

We welcome your feedback

Please write us at newsl...@lexfarm.org with all feedback regarding the Update or if you have suggestions for area events that we can announce.

Jeanne Lin and Allison Moody

Membership Corner

Join or Renew your Membership for 2013!

LexFarm children's education programming

Wild Edible Series

Part Seven: Calamus

Further Thinking

TedxManhattan Viewing Parties

Area Events

Note: Member prices refer to membership in the organization hosting the event.

January 21, Somerville, 11 am - 2 pm
Maple Syrup Project Fundraiser Brunch
Join Groundwork Somerville at The Independent for the annual Maple Syrup Project Fundraiser Brunch. Enjoy delicious maple-themed dishes and cocktails while supporting the Boil Down Festival (March 9th) and local syrup production.� You�ll help make the 10th year of the project possible.� Bring friends�and your appetite! Just make sure to call The Independent at 617-440-6022 to reserve a table, because space is limited!

January 22, Drumlin Farm, 6:30 - 9 pm
Small Scale Agriculture: Never Too Soon to Start Planning
There will be lots of information on seed varieties, seed companies, seed storage, successful germination, and propagation. The workshop includes recommendations on websites, books, magazines, catalogs, garden record keeping and the essential supplies you need to start the fun. You may come for any portion of the 2 .5 hour workshop.
$15 non-member, $10 member

February 2, Drumlin Farm, 1 - 3:30 pm
Backyard Sugaring
Do you have a sugar maple or two in your yard? Do you love maple syrup? If so, then come and join Drumlin Farm to learn how to make your own delicious syrup. They'll cover everything -tree identification, equipment needed, tapping, weather, boiling, finishing, and storing - that you need to know to get yourself started on this sweet project.
$25 non-member, $20 member

February 8, Drumlin Farm, 6:30 - 9:00 pm
Stew and Brew- Eat, Drink and Be Merry
Come in out of the cold and enjoy a sampling of tasty winter stews and locally made beers. There will be several stews made from local, seasonal ingredients, including vegetarian options as well as Drumlin-raised lamb and goat, accompanied by hearty breads. In addition, there will be a variety of beer and ale from neighborhood breweries. Meet other locally-minded foodies and enjoy an evening of good food, drink and conversation.
$60 non-member, $50 member

February 9 & 10, Boston, 8:30 am - 4:30 pm
Organic Bee School
During this two-day Bee School, Jean-Claude Bourrut will go over the basic techniques of organic beekeeping, including materials and equipment; beehive structure; the life cycle of bees; hive development; dynamic, seasonal apiary work; honey and hive products; common pests and diseases, and their organic management.�
$145 non-member, $125 NOFA member


January 31 - February 2, Northampton
Soil and Nutrition Conference: Putting Principles into Practice
NOFA/Mass advocates enhancing soil fertility as a basis for the long-term ecological and economic sustainability of farming, the environment, and society as a whole. The focus of this year's conference is applying practical management strategies on the farm from principles of biological soil fertility. The lead speaker is John Kempf from Middlefield, OH, with Dan Kittredge and Derek Christianson as co-panelists. Watch this interview to see what it's all about.

February 9, Boston
Urban Farming Conference: Cultivating Lands, Nourishing Communities, Building Businesses
The annual Massachusetts Urban Farming Conference (UFC) is designed to advance the opportunities and address the barriers involved in cultivating a thriving urban farming sector. Boston and other local urban communities in Massachusetts have the potential to offer a fresh, local healthy food supply while promoting economic and environmental sustainability, as well as healthy communities, employment at livable wages, food security, youth engagement and more.

February 10 - February 12, Saratoga Springs, NY
It Takes a Region
This conference sponsored by the Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Working Group is for everyone interested in creating more sustainable food and farming systems in the Northeast. It is an opportunity to share with others in the field how your local efforts make a regional impact, and to work with others to rebuild our food system.

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Board Members

Janet Kern, President
Ken Karnofsky, Vice-President
Derek Moody, Treasurer
Ellen Frye
Jay Luker
Brenda Netreba
Charlie Radoslovich
� 2010-2012 Lexington Community Farm Coalition. All rights reserved.
P.O. Box 554 � Lexington, MA 02420 � 781-325-4170 � in...@lexfarm.org � http://lexfarm.org
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