LexFarm Update: Community Farming Committee Announced

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Jeanne Lin

Jun 20, 2013, 8:28:16 AM6/20/13
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LexFarm Update

June 20, 2013

RFP Update:  Community Farming Committee Named

logoLexington's Board of Selectmen named the members of its new "Community Farming Committee" who will oversee the new community farm operation on behalf of the Town who owns the Busa Farm property. Some or all of the members of the committee will also likely serve on the team that will review the submitted community farm proposals (including LexFarm's) in response to the Town's RFP.

The members of the committee named on June 10th are: Michael Bliss, Michelle Ciccolo, Thomas Olivier, Alan Wrigley and Ralph Zelinsky.

Follow-up of Genetic Roulette Screening

GMO hearingThanks to Jack Kittredge from NOFA we had a very informative evening about GMO food on June 10th watching the film "Genetic Roulette," and asking Jack questions afterwards. The next day, a few of us attended the hearings at the State House on three proposed bills to label GMO foods. It looks as if the issue is finally getting some traction, especially since Connecticut just passed a GMO-labeling law that will go into effect only after 4 states, including one that borders CT - passes a similar law. You can follow this issue through the organization MA Right to Know GMOs

There was a lot of interest at the screening (co-sponsored by Nourish Restaurant and LexFarm) - to show the film again, show it on LexMedia and/or perhaps screen another film called "Bitter Seeds". We'd love to do that, but we need volunteer help: LexFarm relies on its members to help provide the types of education about food and farms that is important to them. If you are interested in following public policy on food and farming, and would like to help LexFarm provide education through our newsletter, films and forum and sign up to volunteer here:

Goat Yard Update 

GOATThe goat yard has become a busy place with the three new kids growing fast and lots of visitors giving them attention. We also have a great group of willing volunteers offering to help pasture, walk and kid-sit as the summer settles in, since the goats want to get out and eat those yummy weeds!

If you'd like to help out on a regular basis this summer, there is still opportunity. Contact Josh Vatsky (jo...@lexfarm.org). Inside the yard, Naya and her three kids have joined the rest of the herd, and everyone is learning to adjust to the new members. Salt who had been the smallest, seems happy to have some younger goats to practice pushing around a little bit. Above, she takes on new kid in the yard, "Snoopy".

Planting Soup: Children's Farm Plot

Charlie Rad helps a junior farmer plant
                        some seedsThanks to everyone who helped get our new on-farm children’s plot off to a great start, especially the hard-working and enthusiastic children! We planted pole beans, onions, tomatoes, summer squash, chard, turnips, potatoes, celery, and herbs for our fall soup pot, and we planted eggplant, lettuce, radishes, cucumbers, nasturtiums, and sunflowers as well.  As it happened, we were just in time to take advantage of the heavy rains that most assuredly watered our plantings well.

Children of all ages are invited every Thursday from 1 – 3 pm throughout the summer to meet at the children’s plot to hear a related story, to weed and water as needed, and to simply experience being out in the fields of our own well-loved, local farm during the height of the growing season. (This Thursday we will be thinning the radishes, and soon we will have to stake the tomatoes!)

Please sign up here for each visit so that we will have enough materials and tools on hand for every child.  Suggested donation $5 per child. For more information or questions, contact Nancy Gold: nancya...@gmail.com

Climate Summer Interns return June 24th to 30th

climate summer interns24 AMAZING young adults have committed their summer to living their values, traveling exclusively by bicycle with no support vehicles, and learning from/working with communities across New England to keep building a better future beyond fossil fuels. Last summer, we were fortunate to meet the Massachusetts team who then spent two days learning and helping at the LexFarm Goat Yard. A new team of 6 will be coming to Lexington next week, and there are a number of opportunities to meet, greet and be inspired by them: 

•  Welcome potluck supper
    Monday June 24, 6:30 PM
    Follen Church, 755 Mass. Ave., Lexington
    Contact Fran Ludwig to sign up or for more info:
    flu...@yahoo.com, 781-861-7231.

Lexington Farmers' Market
     Tuesday June 25
     Stop by and say hello.

•  Climate Café:  Natural Gas--A Bridge to the Future or Bridge to Nowhere?
    Wednesday, June 26, 7-9 PM
    Keilty Hall at St. Brigid Church, 1997 Mass. Ave., Lexington

We will also be enlisting the team to learn and work with LexFarm again - this time by constructing some new compost bins for our Children's Farm Plot.  If you are interested in working on the project with the Climate Summer team, please contact Janet Kern: ja...@lexfarm.org. Date and time TBD, so let us know your preference!

Membership Corner

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 LexFarm at P.O. Box 554, Lexington, MA 02420. If you have any questions, contact Brenda Netreba 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 Eighteen: Sheep Sorrel (Rumex acetosella)
sheepsorrelSheep sorrel is a weed brought from Europe and is commonly found in pastures, old fields and areas where the land has been disturbed.  Sheep sorrel can be identified by their one to three inch-long arrow-head shaped leaves and the reddish-brown color of their stalks.  The plant's young leaves are the edible part and are best picked in the spring before it gets too hot.  Their leaves are most tender and juicy when grown in shaded areas and out of direct sunlight.  They are generally lemony and tart in flavor, which is why their Latin name is acetosella, which means "little vinegar plant."  Their tart flavor comes from a chemical called oxalic acid, which, if eaten in large quantities, may cause damage to your stomach lining and prevents calcium absorption.  Like most weeds, they are best eaten raw and can easily be added to a salad dish.  Since many other common vegetables have oxalic acid, including rhubarb and beets, it is perfectly fine to eat sheep sorrel in moderation.  

Further Thinking

Join Daniel Klein and Mirra Fine on their food adventures in sustainable eating at the Perennial Plate, where they share video episodes that explore the global food system and sustainable food practices locally in the States and beyond.  Watch their videos 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

Wild Edible Series

Part Eighteen:  Sheep Sorrel

Further Thinking

The Perennial Plate

Area Events

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

June 22, Roxbury, 10 am - 1 pm
Urban Garden Workday
Join theMOVE as they help TV personality Patti Moreno of Garden Girl TV to work on her amazing urban oasis garden. You’ll have a unique opportunity to tour the space which feeds her family for half the year! Work for the morning and then enjoy a delicious lunch.
$8 including lunch

June 22, Lexington Center, 9 - 11 am
Garden Tour
Garden tour participants will have the opportunity to learn from local gardeners’ knowledge and expertise and acquire tips for their own gardens. This year’s tour will focus on sustainable gardening practices and edible plants. Rather than admiring traditional decorative gardens as has been the focus in past years, this year’s participants will see gardens that engage in composting, growing your own produce, and even raising chickens and goats. Space is limited, so sign up early either at the Lexington Farmers' Market or by e-mailing Helen Theodosiou. Proceeds will benefit SNAP (Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program).
$20 suggested donation

June 26, Dracut, 4 - 6 pm
Weed Management
Whether you've been fighting an uphill battle against weeds in your fields for years, or are a newcomer to these competitive pests, this workshop is for you.  This workshop will cover how to identify the most common weeds that may be taking up residence in your fields. You will learn how to effectively manage weeds in an organic and sustainable way, whether you have a large farm or a smaller market garden.  You will be working with farm equipment such as walk behind tractors, cultivators, hand tools and flame weeders. Weeds beware.

June 27
, Boston, 6:30 - 8 pm
Boston Gardeners Council Speaker Series
Come for the first look inside Aaron Birk's newest graphic novel, The Pollinators' Corridor, Volume 2. Follow the continuing story of three heroic teenagers fighting to transform a crumbling urban neighborhood into an ecologically sustainable landscape.

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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
Josh Vatsky
© 2010-2013 LexFarm. All rights reserved.
P.O. Box 554 • Lexington, MA 02420 • 781-325-4170in...@lexfarm.orghttp://lexfarm.org
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