LexFarm Update: Annual Meeting Recap

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Jeanne Lin

Mar 28, 2013, 12:34:06 PM3/28/13
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March 28, 2013

RFP for Community Farm Published

The Town Manager's office has published the Request for Proposals (RFP) for the Community Farm on the Busa property.� LexFarm is working on a proposal that will emphasize farm-based education and other broad community benefits, combined with a strong business plan to create a self-sustaining farm operation.� Proposals are due on June 3rd, and we expect an award to be made by mid-summer.

If you would like more information about the proposal, please contact Ken Karnofsky at kenk...@gmail.com

Join the Patriots' Day Parade with LexFarm!

paradeWe are pulling out the giant carrots and dusting off the walking pea pod...getting ready to march in Lexington's Patriots' Day parade on Sunday, April 14th!� (Note that it's on Sunday this year because of Lexington's 300th anniversary ) This is one of the most FUN events for everyone associated with LexFarm as we make our way down Massachusetts Ave. with our giant veggies while thousands cheer us on!

Please let us know NOW if you plan to join us...we need to prepare the vegetables and order t-shirts! Please Sign Up Today! http://bit.ly/Patriots_Day_Parade_Signup

If you are interested in helping to repair and make more vegetable "puppets", please contact board member Nancy Gold: nancya...@gmail.com

Farming: Then and Now History Panel Recap

panelOn March 17th, LexFarm presented a Farm History panel spanning 300 years of farming in Lexington and the region. We were extremely fortunate to have rich knowledge and presentations from historians Dr. Mary Fuhrer and Richard Kollen along with farmers Don Wilson and Gus Schumacher who shared experiences from their family farms in Lexington. We are hoping to get the video from the event, and add some additional information and slides from Dennis Busa's research to provide an interesting and representative look at farming challenges in this area over time.

If you have skills and interest in video production, and an interest in this project, please contact us at in...@lexfarm.org.

Meanwhile, we send many thanks to LexFarm member and historian Carolyn Goldstein who organized and moderated the panel of speakers.

LEXGWAC Presents:� "Gasland" Film Screening

April 10th, Cary Memorial Library, Large Meeting Room, 7 - 9pm

gaslandLexGWAC is presenting "Gasland" a documentary on the real effects on a small town of hydraulic fracturing, commonly known as� "Fracking."

This event is free to the public; for more information on the event, please visit here.

News from the Goat Yard

It's been a long winter for goats and humans, with snow still on the the ground, and green forage still only the rare pine branch that makes its way to the yard...but all that is about to change: LexFarm Member Sam Anderson, who manages the livestock and poultry programs at� New Entry Sustainable Farming Project, is leading a goat forage planting project this spring. The first step will be to loosen the soil a bit and spread a layer of compost. Then, mark your calendar for Saturday, April 20th when we'll have a planting workshop. By summer, there should be some clover, oats and chicory...delicious!

Kim Goldinger reports that there have been sounds and other signs of coyotes in the Busa Farm and goat yard area, but we are fortunate that the goats have a very secure barn where they stay from early dusk to late dawn. Naya, the pregnant doe, continues to do well and is expected to kid in early May. No indication yet of how many little ones will be jumping around the yard this spring... stay tuned!

Membership Corner

LexFarm Board welcomes Nancy Gold and Betsy Pollack

LexFarm held its 3rd Annual Meeting of members on Sunday, April 24th, and welcomed new board members Nancy Gold and Betsy Pollack. Nancy brings a wealth of experience educating and working with children and the arts and environment. She is leading the children's educational programming for LexFarm, among a few other things. Betsy first got involved with LexFarm as one of our "peas in a pod" when we marched in the Patriots' Day parade in 2011! In addition to being a good sport, she brings experience in software development combined with a love of food and growing projects. Betsy is using her experience to help with our many communications needs, from the website to the newsletter. Please read more about Nancy and Betsy on our website: http://lexfarm.org/aboutus/

LexFarm Annual Meeting highlighted by Karen Masterson

We had a great Annual Meeting on Sunday at the Depot in Lexington, when we elected our 2013-14 Officers and Board of Directors. We reviewed another event-filled year, and looked ahead to LexFarm's proposal to the Town of Lexington for a community farm in 2014!

The highlight of the meeting was hearing Karen Masterson, owner of nourish Restaurant, speak about her wide range of experiences with farms and growing food, from her upbringing in Canada to the challenges and considerations of sourcing food from local farms and fisherman for her restaurant in Lexington Center.

While we applauded the work Karen is doing to bring awareness to the issues facing us as we enjoy our restaurant meals, she applauded and encouraged us to continue to engage and educate the public through our own hard work ofestablishing a community farm. In all, it was a thought-provoking and inspiring afternoon.

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 Twelve: European Barberry (Berberis Vulgaris)
The European barberry bush, not to be confused with the extremely invasive Japanese barberry (berberis thunbergii), had once commonly grown in New England around the 18th century when it was known as the "Common Barberry," yet is now less common.� You can distinguish it from it's distant relative in several ways.� The European barberry grows up to 6-8 feet tall, has ridged leaves, and produces drooping clusters of egg-shaped, red berries about a centimeter long in size, while the Japanese barberry only grows 3-4 feet in height and has smooth-edged leaves with orange-reddish berries that grow singularly.� An easy way to remember this difference is that Japan is a single country (single berries) while Europe is made up of a cluster of countries (berry clusters).� The difference in taste between both edible fruit is that the E. barberry is juicier and more appetizing, while J. barberries are known to be dry and bitter-tasting.� While the E. barberry is much less common in these parts compared to the greatly unwanted J. barberry, they can still be found growing by 18th and 19th century farm houses and along road sides.� They had once been a popular fruit then, usually made as preserves and eaten with roasted meats.�

You can find barberry bushes growing in May when they are covered in clusters of yellow, pungent-smelling flowers.� Barberries do not ripen for eating until the Fall,
with their peak picking time in mid-autumn, and can grow well into wintertime and even the following spring.� Barberries resemble cranberries in flavor, although much seedier when eaten raw.� They are best for making jellies and fruit preserves as they are high in pectin.

As for their health properties, barberry stem and root bark are used to improve liver function and bile flow by many herbalists.� A few studies have also shown they are good for reducing low-density lipoproteins (LDLs), or "bad cholesterol." �� � �� �

Further Thinking

In a recent article from Grist, an urban garden run by low-income families in a Cincinnati neighborhood, known as Eco Garden, was recently saved from urban housing development.� Read more about it here.

We welcome your feedback

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

Jeanne Lin and Allison Moody

Membership Corner

Welcome New Board Members
Annual Meeting Recap

Wild Edible Series

Part Twelve: European Barberry

Further Thinking

Urban Garden Saved from Housing Development Plans

Area Events

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

March 30, Newton Community Farm, 9 am - 12 noon
4 Season Gardening: Garden Structures and Planting
Assist in the building of a simple three bin composting system and learn how to incorporate and build simple trellises and arbors into your garden infrastructure. Begin early season planting and learn about transplanting and direct sowing as well as tips on watering.
$45 non-member, $40 member

March 30, Drumlin Farm, 10 am - 4 pm
t's a sure sign of spring�time to shear the sheep! Festival highlights include Drumlin Farm's new spring babies, sheep shearing and sheepherding demonstrations, hands-on activities for all ages, and all natural, locally grown and harvested Drumlin Farm food. Local fiber artisans will offer demonstrations and sell their handmade products. Follow the "Sheep-to-Sweater Interpretive Trail" to learn how fleece on a sheep becomes the warm woolen sweater you wear.
$12 non-members, $10 members

April 6,�
Brookline High, Brookline, 1 - 3 pm
Gardening in Small Spaces
Learn how to grow vegetables in small spaces, including tiny plots and growing containers.� This course will cover planning and supplies to get you started growing.��
$30 non-members, $24 NOFA members

April 6, Garden in the Woods, Framingham, 1:30 - 4:30 pm
Pruning Shrubs with the Pros
Early spring is an excellent time to prune many woody plants. In this hands-on workshop, participants work in small groups to practice on woody members of the Garden's shrub collection. Discover ways to enhance a plant's vigor, health, and appearance and learn which tools to use, when to prune, and how the plant responds.
$43 non-members, $36 members


April 13, Medford, MA, 9 am
Cultivating a New Food Economy Summit
Come participate in this summit on how the new economy framework can influence how we view our food system to make it more environmentally friendly and socially just.� Hear from notable guest speakers and how they are leading the way.

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Board members

Janet Kern, President
Ken Karnofsky, Vice-President
Derek Moody, Treasurer
Nancy Gold
Jay Luker
Brenda Netreba
Betsy Pollack
Charlie Radoslovich
� 2010-2013 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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