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Posted 8/21/2014 7:53pm by Brittany Sidway.

By: Jeff Vendetti (Marketing Summer Intern)

Medway Community Farm, much like a community, relies on the help of others. Marcia Coakley and Deby Carlson very recently took the time to make incredible donations that will help MCF now and in the future. Marcia Coakley donated a stepping stone for the farm stand, and Deby Carlson donated reusable bags that have the Medway Community Farm logo and name on them. Deby and Marcia were willing to do an interview with me to talk about their donations and their MCF experiences.

Jeff: What does “community” mean to you?

Marcia: I’ve been interested in and working with communities for over 40 years, in food coop settings and cooperative farming communities (help your neighbor with gardening, haying, animal husbandry, butchering, barn raising, house building, and more). At various stages, community has also meant artist cooperatives, dance and music cooperatives, and generally any gathering of folks working for a common mission for a better environment and creative endeavors for each, and for all.

Deby:  I would say community means everyone working together for the greater good.  

Jeff: What got you involved in working with the farm?

Marcia: We had been CSA members of other area farms in nearby towns and were especially pleased with the town’s moving forward with the creation of and vision for the MCF, right here in Medway. My husband, Dennis, is from Medway, and he came to open his chiropractic practice here in the 1983. We have watched each local farm close and land turn into neighbohoods. The face of Medway has changed…so it’s really important and delightful to see the growth and success coming of efforts to establish this new model for local produce with what has become enthusiastic community support and encouragement.

Deby: I started bringing my children to Shady Oaks Farm 25+ years ago to see the cows in the field across the street and in the barn.   And then buy chocolate milk.  I also would bring buckets in the trunk of my car so I could pick up the fresh manure too.  I was so pleased when the town of Medway decided to keep the land for farming instead of allowing it to be sold for building homes.   My friends Carol and Randy Collord are very involved with the farm and I wanted to help in some way.            

Jeff: What is your favorite part of the farm?

Marcia: Not sure what you’re imagining as the parts (actual physical section, or function, or aspect of outcome of MCF’s vision for education and outreach…etc.?) I am particularly interested in expanding folks’ understanding and appreciation of better health and happy experiences from eating the nutritious and varied fruits and vegetables from the farm. I love sharing delicious and creative cooking and eating inspiration that helps to develop that appreciation.

Deby: The land is being used the way it is supposed to be used.  

Jeff: What is your favorite MCF memory?

Marcia: Not any one answer…so many great moments and experiences. ?????    - Volunteering, solo at the farm, on beautiful early spring mornings, venting the greenhouses, and tending the animals, hanging with the goats/giving them fresh hay treats.    - Farm to Fork dinner    - Getting the farmstand stone step set…so CSA pickups and stand sales are more accessible  

Jeff: What is your favorite vegetable the farm grows? Why?

Marcia: I love everything…except cilantro (I’m one of those folks who is genetically predisposed to find it distasteful, sad to say). I love kohlrabi, red peppers, and spinach…and am extra thrilled with things I don’t usually grow (much) in our home garden.  

Jeff: What motivated you to make some form of donation to MCF?

Marcia: It’s a way of life…looking out for ways we can contribute and make things better, and help move extra things along that others can make great use of.

Deby: I heard they were looking into options for the shopping bags.   Like Brittany, I loved the idea of reusable bags.  And I love the idea of people seeing the bags and then going to the farm to see what is happening there.   )  

Jeff: Why did you choose to contribute the way you did to MCF?

Marcia: See above. Because I work in the farmstand for CSA pickups and stand sales (and seedlings sales in Spring) every week, I was very conscious and concerned about the need for a better step to help folks. I mentioned it to my husband and he suggested that we had an extra stone that would be perfect for the setting. We are not always able to contribute monetary gifts as much as we might like, but helping the farm function better and have the equipment and support the farmer’s have identified specifically feels wonderful.  

Jeff: What advice would you give someone who wants to contribute something to the farm, but may not know how to/ or what to contribute?

Marcia: Stay informed by reading the newsletters, the farm reports, and attending regular events to see and hear about the status of various projects and needs the farm has at any given time. Brittany regularly indicates many ways things can be helped, and specific/urgent support the community can provide.

Deby:  Just ask.    I’m sure there are many items on the MCF wish list.   

Jeff: Where do you see MCF in 5 years? In 50?

Marcia: I trust that to the vision and mission statement of MCF and the board taking action, making children, young adults, and families familiar with where their food comes from, and interested in taking more responsibility for sourcing and supporting healthy and sustainable solutions. I do believe that the best future for healthy food in this country depends on both local farms and community involvement, as well as regional and national efforts to expand environmentally gentle and effective energy resources and safe/sustainable food production practices. Getting into the dirt is healthy in so many ways.  

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